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7 U.S. Code § 7485 - Referenda

(a) Initial referendum
(1) In general

Within the 60-day period immediately preceding the effective date of an order, as provided in section 7483(b)(3) of this title, the Secretary shall conduct a referendum among processors who, during a representative period as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in processing, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the order shall go into effect.

(2) Approval of order

The order shall become effective, as provided in section 7483(b) of this title, only if the Secretary determines that the order has been approved by not less than a majority of the processors voting in the referendum and if the majority processed more than 50 percent of the popcorn certified as having been processed, during the representative period, by the processors voting.

(b) Additional referenda
(1) In general

Not earlier than 3 years after the effective date of an order approved under subsection (a), on the request of the Board or a representative group of processors, as described in paragraph (2), the Secretary may conduct additional referenda to determine whether processors favor the suspension or termination of the order.

(2) Representative group of processors

An additional referendum on an order shall be conducted if the referendum is requested by 30 percent or more of the number of processors who, during a representative period as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in processing.

(3) Disapproval of orderIf the Secretary determines, in a referendum conducted under paragraph (1), that suspension or termination of the order is favored by at least ⅔ of the processors voting in the referendum, the Secretary shall—
suspend or terminate, as appropriate, collection of assessments under the order not later than 180 days after the date of determination; and
suspend or terminate the order, as appropriate, in an orderly manner as soon as practicable after the date of determination.
(c) Costs of referendum

The Secretary shall be reimbursed from assessments collected by the Board for any expenses incurred by the Secretary in connection with the conduct of any referendum under this section.

(d) Method of conducting referendum

Subject to this section, a referendum conducted under this section shall be conducted in such manner as is determined by the Secretary.

(e) Confidentiality of ballots and other information
(1) In general

The ballots and other information or reports that reveal or tend to reveal the vote of any processor, or any business operation of a processor, shall be considered to be strictly confidential and shall not be disclosed.

(2) Penalty for violations

An officer or employee of the Department who knowingly violates paragraph (1) shall be subject to the penalties described in section 7484(i)(3)(C)(ii) of this title.