(a) In general
Within the 60-day period immediately preceding the effective date of an order issued under section 6405(a) of this title, the Secretary shall conduct a referendum among fluid milk processors to ascertain whether the order shall go into effect.
If, as a result of the referendum conducted under subsection (a), the Secretary determines that implementation of the order is favored—
(1) by at least 50 percent of fluid milk processors voting in the referendum; and
(2) by fluid milk processors voting in the referendum that marketed during the representative period, as determined by the Secretary, 60 percent or more of the volume of fluid milk products marketed by fluid milk processors voting in the referendum;
the order shall become effective as provided in section 6405(b) of this title.
(c) Costs of referendum
The Secretary shall be reimbursed from any assessments collected by the Board for any expenses incurred by the Department in connection with the conduct of any referendum under this chapter.
(d) Manner (1) In general
Referenda conducted pursuant to this chapter shall be conducted in a manner determined by the Secretary.
(2) Advance registration
A fluid milk processor who chooses to vote in any referendum conducted under this chapter shall register with the Secretary prior to the voting period, after receiving notice from the Secretary concerning the referendum under paragraph (4).
A fluid milk processor who votes in any referendum conducted under this chapter shall vote in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary. The ballots and other information or reports that reveal or tend to reveal the vote of any processor shall be held strictly confidential.
The Secretary shall notify all processors at least 30 days prior to a referendum conducted under this chapter. The notice shall explain the procedure established under this subsection.
AMENDMENTS 1996—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 104–127 substituted "fluid milk processors voting in the referendum;" for "all processors;".
7 U.S.C. § 6413 (2018)