(a) Nomination for members and alternate members of the Committee shall be made not later than June 15 of every third year.
(b) Opportunity shall be provided producers and handlers to nominate individuals to serve on the Committee by establishing a day for polling and also for casting absentee ballots. Persons will only be able to vote in nominations for the group in which they would be qualified to serve on the Committee, and shall nominate the applicable number of individuals for the positions prescribed pursuant to § 987.21. Each producer, regardless of the number and locations of his date gardens, voting in the nominations for producer members and producer alternate members, shall be entitled to one vote for each member and alternate member position to be filled. The individual receiving the highest number of votes for a position shall be the nominee. Each person voting in the nominations for producer-handler members and producer-handler alternate members, shall be given the opportunity to vote for one member and one alternate member position. His ballot shall be weighted by the pounds of dates he had certified as marketable dates, from the beginning of the then current crop year through April which he produced in his own gardens or acquired from other producers. The individual receiving the highest weighted vote for a producer-handler position shall be the nominee. The Committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may issue rules and regulations on the manner in which nominees for a position may be obtained, polling, balloting, absentee ballots, and the weighting of votes for producer-handler positions when the Committee is restructured during a term of office.