1221.227 Canvassing voting ballots.§ 1221.227 Canvassing voting ballots.
(a) Canvassing of Form LS-379 shall take place at the appropriate county FSA offices or AMS office on the 6th business day following the final day of the voting period. Canvassing of producer ballots 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 ballots 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) Canvassing of importer ballots will be performed by AMS personnel or any other person as deemed necessary.
(c) Form LS-379 should be canvassed as follows:
(1) Number of valid ballots. A person has been declared eligible by FSA or AMS to vote by completing Form LS-379 in its entirety, signing it, and providing supporting documentation that shows the person who cast the ballot during the voting period was engaged in the production or importation of sorghum. Such ballot will be considered a valid ballot.
(2) Number of ineligible ballots. If FSA or AMS cannot determine that a person is eligible based on the submitted documentation or if the person fails to submit the required supporting documentation, the person shall be determined to be ineligible. FSA or AMS shall notify ineligible persons in writing as soon as practicable but no later than the 8th business day following the final day of the voting period.
(d) Appeal. A person declared to be ineligible by FSA or AMS can appeal such decision and provide additional documentation to the FSA county office or AMS within 5 business days after the postmark date of the letter of notification of ineligibility. FSA or AMS will then make a final decision on the person's eligibility and notify the person of the decision.
(e) Invalid ballots. An invalid ballot includes, but is not limited to the following:
(1) Form LS-379 is not signed or all required information has not been provided;
(2) Form LS-379 and supporting documentation returned in-person or by facsimile was not received by close of business on the last business day of the voting period;
(3) Form LS-379 and supporting documentation returned by mail was not postmarked by midnight of the final day of the voting period;
(4) Form LS-379 and supporting documentation returned by mail was not received in the county FSA or AMS office by the 5th business day following the final day of the voting period;
(5) Form LS-379 or supporting documentation is mutilated or marked in such a way that any required information on the Form is illegible; or
(6) Form LS-379 and supporting documentation not returned to the appropriate county FSA or AMS office.