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H.B. 366 Enrolled

    

SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

    
1997 GENERAL SESSION

    
STATE OF UTAH

    
Sponsor: Melvin R. Brown

    AN ACT RELATING TO SPECIAL DISTRICTS; MODIFYING PROVISIONS RELATING TO
    THE QUALIFICATIONS AND ELECTION OF SUPERVISORS OF SOIL
    CONSERVATION DISTRICTS; AUTHORIZING SUPERVISORS TO DIVIDE
    DISTRICT INTO VOTING AREAS; MODIFYING QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS
    IN ELECTION OF SUPERVISORS; REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF
    AGRICULTURE TO PAY ELECTION EXPENSES; AND MAKING TECHNICAL
    CORRECTIONS.
    This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
    AMENDS:
         17A-3-804, as renumbered and amended by Chapter 186, Laws of Utah 1990
    Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
        Section 1. Section 17A-3-804 is amended to read:
         17A-3-804. Governing body of districts -- Candidates' qualifications -- Procedures
     -- Termination of office upon consolidation, division, or termination -- New elections.
        (1) (a) The governing body of each district shall be comprised of five supervisors elected
    at large within the district.
        (b) At least three of the supervisors shall be private agricultural land operators.
        (c) The term of office for each supervisor shall be four years.
        (d) If the supervisors divide the district into watershed voting areas under Subsection (5),
    at least one supervisor must reside within each voting area.
        (e) A vacancy that occurs in the office of a supervisor shall be filled by appointment by
    the remaining supervisors for the unexpired term of the supervisor creating the vacancy.
        (2) (a) The supervisors shall elect a chairman and other officers they consider necessary
    from among their number.
        (b) A simple majority of supervisors present at a duly called meeting shall constitute a


    quorum for the transaction of official business. [Any vacancy which occurs in the office of a
    supervisor shall be filled by the remaining supervisors for the unexpired term of the vacated
    supervisor.]
        (c) Supervisors shall receive in the performance of their official duties compensation for
    [mileage] travel and time as fixed by the commission and actual and necessary expenses.
        [(2) Supervisors shall be elected to four year terms of office; provided, that at the initial
    election of supervisors under this part two of the supervisors elected shall be elected to only two year
    terms of office. The two candidates at such initial election who receive the fourth and fifth largest
    number of votes are deemed elected to the two year terms of office.]
        (3) Each candidate who stands for election to the office of district supervisor shall be
    nominated by a nominating committee composed of [the following persons]:
        (a) the [chairman] chair of the county commission or council;
        (b) the [chairman] chair of the county [agricultural stabilization and conservation service]
    USDA Farm Service Agency Committee;
        (c) the [chairman] chair of the district supervisors or designated district supervisor if the
    chair is an incumbent who wishes to run for reelection; and
        (d) the county agricultural extension [agent] service designated representative.
        (4) (a) The nominating committee shall nominate for each district election a slate of
    candidates equal in number to at least one more than the number of supervisors to be elected.
        (b) The commission shall, before each election, deliver to the nominating committee a copy
    of the district's supervisor election voting list for the committee's review and approval.
        (5) The district supervisors may divide the district into no more than three watershed voting
    areas.
        [(5)] (6) (a) Candidates, other than those nominated by the nominating committee, shall be
    placed on the ballot upon the receipt of a petition, not later than [January 1 of the year in which the
    district supervisor election is to be conducted, which states] the close of nominations as set by the
    commission.
        (b) Each petition under Subsection (6)(a) shall:

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        (i) state:
        (A) the candidate's name;
        (B) that the candidate is over 18 years of age; and
        (C) that the candidate is a resident of the district in which the election is to be held[. Each
    petition shall]; and
        (ii) list the name, address, voting [district] precinct number, and signature of at least six
    persons who are registered voters within the same district as the candidate.
        [(6)] (7) (a) The names of all nominees, whether nominated by the nominating committee
    or [upon] by petition, shall be received by the commission on or before [January 1 of each year in
    which any district supervisor election is to be conducted] the date set by the commission as the close
    of nominations.
        (b) The commission shall:
        (i) fix the date of election in each district which[, in no event, shall] may not be held later
    than six weeks after the date nominations close; and [shall,]
        (ii) at least three weeks before the date scheduled for each election, publish notice of the
    election in a newspaper or other [publication] media outlet method with general circulation within
    each district where an election is to be held.
        (c) The notice under Subsection (7)(b)(ii) shall:
        (i) state the date of the election, the names of all candidates, and the fact that [ballots] ballot
    request forms may be obtained for the election by any [land occupier] registered voter from the
    commission offices or from such other place as the commission designates[. The notice shall]; and
        (ii) specify the address of the commission offices or [such] other [place] places where
    [ballots] ballot request forms may be obtained.
        [(7)] (8) The names of all nominees shall be printed on the ballot in alphabetical order
    according to surname, and a square shall appear before each name. A printed instruction to insert
    [an "X"] a mark in the square before the name of [any two or three names (depending upon] the
    number of persons to be elected[)] to show the voter's preference shall also appear on the ballot.
        [(8)] (9) (a) The commission and department shall conduct the election of district supervisors

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    by mail. [Each]
        (b) A person is eligible to vote if the person:
        (i) is a registered voter residing in the district;
        (ii) is a person who:
        (A) owns or operates private agricultural land in the district; and
        (B) (I) requests a ballot; or
        (II) has voted in one of the last two district elections.
        (c) (i) The commission and department shall establish and maintain a supervisor's election
    mailing list for each district election.
        (ii) The list under Subsection (9)(c)(i) shall contain the names and mailing addresses of all
    persons eligible to vote under Subsection (9)(b).
        (d) The commission shall mail a ballot to each person within a district where an election is
    to be held who is listed on the [county agricultural stabilization and conservation service]
    supervisor's election mailing list [and each other land occupier within the district who requests a
    ballot shall receive a ballot from the commission].
        (e) (i) Ballots shall be mailed not later than five days before the date set for election [and
    each].
        (ii) Each ballot shall specify the date after which ballots will not be accepted for purposes
    of the election.
        (f) The [two or three] candidates equal in number to the number of supervisor positions
    available and receiving the highest number of votes[, respectively (depending upon the number of
    candidates to be elected),] are [deemed] elected and shall take office on [March 15, following] the
    date [of election] set by the commission for terms to begin.
        (g) The commission shall determine all questions of eligibility, certify the count and tally
    [all] of ballots and votes cast, and declare and certify each district supervisor elected.
        (h) All expenses incident to the election shall be paid by the department for the commission.
        [(9)] (10) (a) If a district is consolidated, or if a district is divided or terminated, the offices
    of supervisors within [the] each affected district [or districts] shall terminate immediately, and the

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    commission shall proceed to wind up the affairs of a terminated district[; or, in the case of
    consolidation, to].
        (b) If districts are consolidated, the commission shall merge the assets and liabilities of the
    original districts into the newly created district[; or, in the case of division, to].
        (c) If a district is divided, the commission shall equitably divide the assets of the original
    district between the newly created districts. [New elections]
        (d) (i) A new election for supervisors shall be conducted in any divided or consolidated
    district.
        (ii) In an election under Subsection (10)(d)(i), the commission shall:
        (A) set the dates for nominations, election, and commencement of terms of office; and
        (B) certify the results of the election.
        (iii) The nominating committee shall select a slate of at least six candidates for an election
    under Subsection (10)(d)(i). Nominations may also be made as provided under Subsection (6).
        (iv) Notwithstanding Subsection (1)(c), the two candidates receiving the highest number of
    votes at an election under Subsection (10)(d)(i) shall be elected to a four-year term, and the three
    candidates receiving the next highest number of votes shall be elected to a two-year term.

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