7 U.S. Code § 7446 - Referenda

(a) Initial referendum
(1) Requirement
During the period ending 30 months after the date on which an order is first issued under section 7443 (b)(3) of this title, the Secretary shall conduct a referendum among producers who, during a representative period as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production of canola or rapeseed for the purpose of ascertaining whether the order then in effect shall be continued.
(2) Advance notice
The Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, provide broad public notice in advance of any referendum. The notice shall be provided, without advertising expenses, by means of newspapers, county newsletters, the electronic media, and press releases, through the use of notices posted in State and county cooperative extension offices and county Consolidated Farm Service Agency offices, and by other appropriate means specified in the order. The notice shall contain information on when the referendum will be held, registration and voting requirements, rules regarding absentee voting, and other pertinent information.
(3) Approval of order
The order shall be continued only if the Secretary determines that the order has been approved by not less than a majority of the producers voting in the referendum.
(4) Disapproval of order
If continuation of the order is not approved by a majority of the producers voting in the referendum, the Secretary shall terminate collection of assessments under the order within 180 days after the referendum and shall terminate the order in an orderly manner as soon as practicable.
(b) Additional referenda
(1) In general
(A) Requirement
After the initial referendum on an order, the Secretary shall conduct additional referenda, as described in subparagraph (C), if requested by a representative group of producers, as described in subparagraph (B).
(B) Representative group of producers
An additional referendum on an order shall be conducted if requested by 10 percent or more of the producers who, during a representative period as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production of canola or rapeseed.
(C) Eligible producers
Each additional referendum shall be conducted among all producers who, during a representative period as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production of canola or rapeseed to determine whether the producers favor the termination or suspension of the order.
(2) Disapproval of order
If the Secretary determines, in a referendum conducted under paragraph (1), that suspension or termination of the order is favored by a majority of the producers voting in the referendum, the Secretary shall suspend or terminate, as appropriate, collection of assessments under the order within 180 days after the determination, and shall suspend or terminate the order, as appropriate, in an orderly manner as soon as practicable after the determination.
(3) Opportunity to request additional referenda
(A) In general
Beginning on the date that is 5 years after the conduct of a referendum under this subchapter, and every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary shall provide canola and rapeseed producers an opportunity to request an additional referendum.
(B) Method of making request
(i) In-person requests To carry out subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall establish a procedure under which a producer may make a request for a reconfirmation referendum in person at a county cooperative extension office or a county Consolidated Farm Service Agency office during a period established by the Secretary, or as provided in clause (ii).
(ii) Mail-in requests In lieu of making a request in person, a producer may make a request by mail. To facilitate the submission of requests by mail, the Secretary may make mail-in request forms available to producers.
(C) Notifications
The Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register, and the Board shall provide written notification to producers, not later than 60 days prior to the end of the period established under subparagraph (B)(i) for an in-person request, of the opportunity of producers to request an additional referendum. The notification shall explain the right of producers to an additional referendum, the procedure for a referendum, the purpose of a referendum, and the date and method by which producers may act to request an additional referendum under this paragraph. The Secretary shall take such other action as the Secretary determines is necessary to ensure that producers are made aware of the opportunity to request an additional referendum.
(D) Action by Secretary
As soon as practicable following the submission of a request for an additional referendum, the Secretary shall determine whether a sufficient number of producers have requested the referendum, and take such steps as are necessary to conduct the referendum, as required under paragraph (1).
(E) Time limit
An additional referendum requested under the procedures provided in this paragraph shall be conducted not later than 1 year after the Secretary determines that a representative group of producers, as described in paragraph (1)(B), have requested the conduct of the referendum.
(c) Procedures
(1) Reimbursement of Secretary
The Secretary shall be reimbursed from assessments collected by the Board for any expenses incurred by the Secretary in connection with the conduct of an activity required under this section.
(2) Date
Each referendum shall be conducted for a reasonable period of time not to exceed 3 days, established by the Secretary, under a procedure under which producers intending to vote in the referendum shall certify that the producers were engaged in the production of canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products during the representative period and, at the same time, shall be provided an opportunity to vote in the referendum.
(3) Place
Referenda under this section shall be conducted at locations determined by the Secretary. On request, absentee mail ballots shall be furnished by the Secretary in a manner prescribed by the Secretary.

Source

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, § 537,Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1058; Pub. L. 110–234, title VII, § 7511(c)(28),May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1270; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title VII, § 7511(c)(28),June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2031.)
Codification

Pub. L. 110–234and Pub. L. 110–246made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234were repealed by section 4(a) ofPub. L. 110–246.
Amendments

2008—Subsecs. (a)(2), (b)(3)(B)(i). Pub. L. 110–246, § 7511(c)(28), substituted “cooperative extension” for “Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service”.
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234by Pub. L. 110–246effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, except as otherwise provided, see section 4 ofPub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.
Amendment by section 7511(c)(28) ofPub. L. 110–246effective Oct. 1, 2009, see section 7511(c) ofPub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 1522 of this title.

 

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