1220.623 Canvassing requests.§ 1220.623 Canvassing requests.
(a) Canvassing of Form LS-51-1 shall take place at the opening of county FSA offices on the 5th business day following the Request for Referendum period. Such canvassing, acting on behalf of the Administrator, AMS, shall be in the presence of at least two members of the county committee. If two or more of the counties have been combined and are served by one county office, the canvassing of the requests shall be conducted by at least one member of the county committee from each county served by the county office. The FSA State committee or the State Executive Director if authorized by the State Committee, may designate the County Executive Director (CED) and a county or State FSA office employee to canvass the requests and report the results instead of two members of the county committee when it is determined that the number of eligible voters is so limited that having two members of the county committee present for this function is impractical, and designate the CED and/or another county or State FSA office employee to canvass requests in any emergency situation precluding at least two members of the county committee from being present to carry out the functions required in this section.
(b) The request for referendum should be canvassed as follows:
(1) Number of eligible requests for a referendum. Each person who was a producer during the representative period and provides documentation to prove that they paid an assessment will be considered eligible to request a referendum.
(2) Number of ineligible requests for a referendum. If FSA cannot determine that a producer is eligible based on the submitted documentation or if the producer fails to submit the required documentation, the producer shall be determined to be ineligible. FSA shall notify ineligible producers in writing as soon as practicable but no later than the 8th business day following the final day of the Request for Referendum period.
(c) Appeal. A person declared to be ineligible by FSA can appeal such decision and provide additional documentation to the FSA county office within 5 business days after the postmark date of the letter of notification of ineligibility. FSA will then make a final decision on the producer's eligibility and notify the producer of the decision.
(d) Number of valid requests for referendum. A person has been declared eligible and has provided and completed all of the required information on form LS-51-1.
(e) Number of invalid requests for a referendum. An invalid request for referendum includes, but is not limited to the following:
(1) Form LS-51-1 is not signed or all required information has not been provided;
(2) Form LS-51-1 and supporting documentation returned in-person or by facsimile was not received by the last business day of the Request for Referendum period;
(3) Form LS-51-1 and supporting documentation returned by mail was not postmarked by midnight of the final day of the Request for Referendum period;
(4) Form LS-51-1 and supporting documentation returned by mail was not received in the county FSA office prior to canvassing of the ballots;
(5) Form LS-51-1 or supporting documentation is mutilated or marked in such a way that any required information on the form is illegible; or
(6) Form LS-51-1 and supporting documentation not returned to the appropriate county FSA office.