A. Eligibility for Oyster Committee Members. A licensed oyster harvester who has paid the oyster license surcharge for the current license year or for at least one of the previous two license years is eligible to be a representative on a county oyster committee.
B. Balloting Procedure.
(1) When an election for a county is to be held, the Department shall publish notice of the election on the Departmentís website. The notice shall state the ballot procedure.
(2) A licensed oyster harvester may vote only for the oyster committee candidates for the county in which the licensed oyster harvester resides. The elections shall be conducted by the Department and shall be by secret ballot. After the election has been closed, the Department shall tally and announce the results. The persons receiving the most votes shall be elected to the vacancies on the committee, and the Department shall notify those persons of their election by certified mail. If a person elected is unable or unwilling to serve on the committee, the person receiving the highest number of votes who is able or willing to serve shall be elected.
(3) If a vacancy cannot be filled because two or more persons have received an equal number of votes, the representative shall be selected by a process determined by the Department in consultation with the current oyster committee of the county in which the tie occurred.
C. If a county has less than five licensed oyster harvesters who are eligible to be a committee representative, then all of the eligible licensed oyster harvesters of that county shall constitute the respective committee.