302 KAR 1:055.
RELATES TO: KRS
AUTHORITY: KRS 247.450-247.505
FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 247.450-247.505 authorize the commissioner to
establish and determine the rules and administrative regulations to conduct a
referendum among producers of milk on a commercial basis for the purpose of
promoting and stimulating by educational and applied research programs, the
increased production of milk in this state.
Definitions. As used in these rules and administrative regulations, unless the
context requires otherwise:
"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Agriculture.
"Board" means the State Board of Agriculture.
"Producer" means every person who produces milk and causes the same
to be marketed as milk.
"Person" means any individual, corporation or partnership,
association, cooperative, or other business entity.
"Referendum agent" means an employee of the State Department of
Agriculture under the direct control of the Commissioner of Agriculture.
referendum agent" means an appointed person by the Commissioner of
Agriculture in a county where the milk producer referendum is held, as his
agent for the conduct of the referendum.
"Kentucky Milk Producers Association" means an existing association,
representative of the producers of milk on a commercial basis in this state.
"Association" means any commission, council, board or other body.
Counties in which Referendum will be Conducted. The milk producers referendum
will be conducted in all of the 120 counties in Kentucky.
Section 3. Who
may Vote. (1) Each person engaged in the production of milk on a commercial
basis, including owners of farms on which milk is produced on a commercial basis,
tenants and sharecroppers sharing in the proceeds of the milk production shall
be eligible to cast one (1) vote in the referendum, provided the producer is
eighteen (18) years of age or older.
limiting subsection (1) of this section, each person whose name regularly
appears on checks issued in payment for the sale of milk is eligible to cast
one (1) vote in the referendum regardless of the ownership of the farm upon
which the milk was produced. No person who certifies to the county referendum
agent that he is a producer of milk shall be refused a ballot, but the person
may be required to furnish the county referendum agent with information
specific enough for the commissioner to verify the person's voting eligibility
before the ballot is counted in the referendum.
Voting Places. The commissioner shall establish a voting place in each county
within the state where producers of milk reside. The voting place shall be in
the county extension service office in each county where the referendum is
conducted. The referendum agent shall provide an area where each voter can mark
his ballot in privacy. Only one (1) voter shall be permitted in the voting area
while voting. One (1) or more county referendum agents may be permitted in each
voting place for the purpose of conducting the referendum. The county
referendum agent shall be in charge of and be responsible for the voting area.
Campaigning for or against the referendum will not be permitted in the county
extension service office during voting hours.
Voting Hours. The voting places will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m local time
and eligible voters will be permitted to vote only during that period of time
or by absentee ballot as set forth in Section 6 of this administrative regulation.
Voters will be permitted to vote only in the county of their residence or in
the case of a corporate producer in the county where its principal place of
business is located.
Absentee Voting. Voting by absentee ballot will be permissible; provided, that
a request for an absentee ballot is made in writing to the commissioner at
least ten (10) days in advance of the referendum voting date. The absentee
ballot must be signed and returned to the commissioner on or before the
referendum voting date.
Referendum Voting Date. The milk producers referendum voting date will be set
by the commissioner after certification of the referendum. The date determined
for the referendum, the hours and polling places for voting, the effective date
of the assessment, if adopted, the amount and basis of the assessment proposed
to be collected, the means by which the assessment shall be collected, and the
general purposes to which the assessment shall be applied, will be published by
the commissioner through the medium of the public press in the Commonwealth of
Kentucky at least thirty (30) days before the date of the referendum, and
direct written notice of the referendum date will be given to each county
Supervision of Referendum and Duties of County Referendum Agent. The
commissioner shall provide the county referendum agent with a copy of these
rules and administrative regulations. Each county referendum agent shall have
in his possession and under his control a ballot box and the approved ballot
forms, indelible marking pens and other supplies sufficient to operate each
voting place as established in Section 4 of this administrative regulation.
Each prospective voter shall identify himself to the county referendum agent;
and the voter will be required to sign a registration book giving his name,
complete mailing address and telephone number. The registration book shall be
maintained by the county referendum agent. Upon signing the registration book,
each prospective voter will receive an approved ballot form from the county
referendum agent. The ballot form, after it has been completed by the voter,
shall be placed in the ballot box.
Approved Ballot Forms. The commissioner shall furnish each county referendum
agent in advance with official ballot forms. The official ballot forms shall
state the question to be presented to the voters. The question presented shall
show that the milk producer is voting on whether or not the milk producer is in
favor of the collection by the Kentucky Milk Producers Association of an
assessment for the purpose of financing a promotional and educational program
to stimulate applied research and increase the production of milk. The
assessment collected by the purchasers of milk will be sent to the Kentucky
Milk Producers Association to be used as provided in KRS 247.450-247.505. The
assessment to be deducted from the payment for milk delivered after October 1,
1990, is 0.15 of one (1) percent of the value of the milk sold by the producer.
Custody of Ballot Box and Referendum Material. Each county referendum agent
shall provide a ballot box large enough to enclose all ballots cast in the
referendum and to protect the ballots to ensure that the information on the
ballots is held in confidence. The county referendum agent shall mail to the
Department of Agriculture, all marked ballots and registration books used for
the referendum. The ballots and registration books shall be mailed in a
properly secured manila envelope or folder.
Confidential Information. All ballots cast, the identity of any person who
voted, or the manner in which the person voted, and all information furnished
to, compiled by or in the possession of the commissioner, the county referendum
agent, shall be regarded as confidential. The commissioner shall retain the
records, the ballots, the results of the referendum, and all other information
furnished to or compiled by the commissioner in regard to the referendum for a
period of twelve (12) months.
Counting of Votes. Within five (5) days after the referendum, the commissioner
shall designate an area within the department's office to be used for counting
the votes cast and the referendum. The vote count shall be conducted by employees
of the department, but the Kentucky Milk Producers Association, and any
organization actively engaged in the production of milk in Kentucky, may each
have one (1) representative present during the counting of the votes. The
organization shall establish, to the satisfaction of the commissioner, that it
desires to observe the counting of the ballots for a legitimate purpose.
Announcement of Referendum Results. Announcement of the results of the
referendum will be made only by the commissioner. The referendum agent or
others who assist in the referendum shall not disclose any information in
regard to the referendum. The commissioner will announce the results within ten
(10) days after the referendum.
Referendum Costs. All costs and expenses incurred by the commissioner in
connection with the referendum shall be borne by the association conducting the
referendum. The commissioner shall notify the association of all documented
costs and expenses incurred in conducting the referendum including mailing and
shipping costs, within ninety (90) days of the date the results the referendum
are announced by the commissioner.
Affirmative Vote. An assessment approved by an affirmative vote as defined by
Section 14 of the Act, shall be collected and remitted to the association on or
before the final day of the month following the end of the month in which the
commodity is sold to the purchaser in the manner determined and announced by
the association conducting the referendum.
Subsequent Referendum. Any subsequent referendum among the producers which
provides that the eligible producers may vote with regard to whether the milk
producer assessment approved by affirmative vote shall be continued or
terminated shall be conducted in accord with the provisions of this
administrative regulation. Except that the official ballots shall show that the
question to be presented is whether the assessment of 0.15 of one (1) percent
of the value of milk sold by the producer in the state shall be terminated
after the last day of the month in which the referendum is held. (17 Ky.R. 157;