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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through November 15, 2014
 
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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

 

DIVISION 45

THIRD PARTY GRADING ELECTION PROCEDURES

603-045-0010

Definitions

(1) "Department" means the State Department of Agriculture.

(2) "Grower" means any person engaged in the business of growing or producing any produce in this state and includes any cooperative organization composed exclusively of growers and handling exclusively the produce of its own members and operating under and by virtue of the laws of this state or any other state of the United States.

(3) "Elector" is synonymous with "Grower".

(4) "Handler" means a person or the agent of the person who processes produce the person has purchased or otherwise acquired in this state from a grower.

(5) "Produce" means any fruit or vegetable grown or produced by a grower and of which total sales by growers to handlers for the previous growing season totaled more than $1 million. The Department shall determine and verify the application of this defined term, and the total sales value herein specified, and for this purpose shall be authorized to inspect books and records and require reports.

(6) "Election" means the procedure for terminating the Department's inspection and classification as provided by ORS 632.950.

(7) "Supervisor of Elections" means the Administrator of the Agricultural Development and Marketing Division or some other person appointed by the Director.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 632
Stats. Implemented: ORS 632
Hist.: DOA 1-2002, f. & cert. ef. 1-15-02

603-045-0020

Petition Filing Requirements

(1) Any grower or handler who wants the Department to terminate its inspection of a processing plant in Oregon must contact the Administrator of the Agricultural Development and Marketing Division of the Oregon Department of Agriculture and request a petition. The Department will send the requestor an information packet and petition.

(2) The petition must specify the commodity, processing firm and location, and a petition representative. A separate petition and election will be held for each commodity and each processing plant by location.

(3) The processing plant must provide the Department a notarized statement certifying a list of all growers who deliver the commodity to that plant. The list must include each grower's name, address, and relevant production for the period designated by the Department. The list will become the list of electors.

(4) The petitioners must meet the signature requirements of ORS 632.950.

(5) The petition representative must submit with the petition a deposit of $250 for the cost of the election. If the cost of the election exceeds the deposited amount, the petitioners must pay the difference. If the actual cost is less than the deposit, the Department will issue a refund to the petitioner(s) for the difference between the deposit and the actual cost.

(6) The Supervisor of Elections will review the petition to verify it meets the requirements of ORS 632.950. If it does, the Supervisor of Elections will notify the petition representative. If it does not, the Supervisor of Elections will notify the petition representative of the petition's deficiencies.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 632
Stats. Implemented: ORS 632
Hist.: DOA 1-2002, f. & cert. ef. 1-15-02

603-045-0030

Election

(1) If the petition meets the statutory requirements, the Department will provide notice of the date of the election in a newspaper circulated in the production area. The notice will appear at least 14 days before the first day of the election. The notice will include the following:

(A) The beginning date and the end date of the election period;

(b) A statement explaining how the grower list was established; and

(c) Information on how a grower may obtain a ballot.

(2)(a) During the period established for the election, all affected growers are entitled to vote. Any grower may present evidence in support of a claim to be an eligible elector, however their vote will not count unless the Supervisor of Elections determines that they qualify to be an eligible elector;

(b) A partnership has only one vote, which may be cast either by one of the partners or by the partners jointly;

(c) The vote of a corporation, association, joint stock company, or other firm or business entity, may be cast by any properly authorized officer.

(3) The Supervisor of Elections shall:

(a) Conduct the election by giving an opportunity to affected electors to cast their ballots;

(b) Determine the beginning and end of the election period and the deadline for casting ballots. Electors must be allowed at least ten days to vote in the election;

(c) Determine whether ballots may be cast by mail or at polling places. If the Supervisor of Elections determines that ballots may be cast by mail, it will cause all material specified in subsection (3)(d) of this rule to be mailed to each elector at the last known address on file with the Department. If the Supervisor of Elections determines that ballots may be cast at polling places, it may determine, subject to provisions of ORS Chapter 576, the necessary polling places and the hours during which each polling place will be open; provided that all polling places remain open at least four consecutive hours during each day announced. The Supervisor of Elections will also allow electors to vote by absentee ballot;

(d) Make available to affected electors the following:

(A) A statement of the proposal on the ballot form;

(B) A form certifying the following information:

(i) That the elector has the authority to vote for business entity;

(ii) The elector's production in the last preceding crop season or year of the affected commodity; and

(iii) That the elector is a current grower of the affected commodity.

(4) The Supervisor of Elections and its appointees during an election will check that each postmark is within the election period, maintain a daily record of each elector's name and business entity located on the outside of the return envelope, and place return envelopes in a locked ballot box. The daily record is available to the public for inspection. Any registered grower may challenge the qualifications and eligibility of an elector to vote. The person challenging the ballot must submit, under oath or affirmation before a public notary, a written statement of challenge. The statement must contain the challenger's name and residential address and mailing address, if different; the name of the person challenged; and a statement of the facts upon which the challenge is based. All challenges must be received by the Supervisor of Elections by 5:00 p.m. on the second business day following the close of the election.

(a) The Supervisor of Elections will examine any challenge to determine if the challenger is registered to vote. If the challenge meets the requirements contained in this rule, the Supervisor of Elections will examine the challenge and determine if the person is qualified and if the vote was properly cast. If the challenge does not comply with the requirements of this rule, it will be dismissed.

(5) After all challenges have been decided, the Supervisor of Elections will appoint two persons to open the locked ballot box and remain present while the ballot box is open. They must immediately reconcile the number of ballots against the daily record of electors.

(a) One person must open the return envelope and determine if the certification complies with the requirements of this rule. If so, the ballot envelope must be handed to the second person for tally. The first person shall read the certified production total to the second person to be recorded on the ballot. If the certification does not comply with the requirements of this rule, it must be submitted to the Supervisor of Election with the sealed ballot for review. The Department may obtain missing information from all electors whose certifications are incomplete. One the certification is complete the ballots may be tallied.

(b) The certification and ballots will remain in separate files to protect the elector's confidentiality.

(6) Within ten days of the conclusion of the election, the Supervisor of Elections will prepare the Certification and Declaration and submit it to the Director for filing with the Secretary of State. The Certification and Declaration must include the following:

(a) A statement to the effect that the ballots submitted are all of the ballots cast and received by such persons during the election period;

(b) A list of all challenged ballots;

(c) A detailed statement explaining the method used in publicizing the election and how the election was conducted; and

(d) The total numbers of affirmative and negative votes cast;

(e) The percentage of total electors that those voting represent; and

(f) The percentage of total production that the affirmative and negative votes represent.

(7) After filing the Certification and Declaration with the Secretary of the State, the Department will announce the results of the election.

(8) The Supervisor of Elections may prescribe additional instructions consistent with the provisions of this rule.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 632
Stats. Implemented: ORS 632
Hist.: DOA 1-2002, f. & cert. ef. 1-15-02

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