|How To Handle Negtive Ballots Efficiently
by James A. Luppens and Ronald W. Stanton
Handling negative votes on standards actions can be a tricky business.
You want to ensure consensus, but how to satisfy everyone? Former
ASTM Committee on Standards members Jim Luppens and Ron Stanton
offer a guide to sidestepping the landmines in dealing with negative
(A shorter version of this article appears in the print SN.)
Properly handling negative votes may be one of the singularly
most difficult, perhaps even onerous tasks, a subcommittee faces
in the process of developing a consensus standard. However, the
proper handling of negative votes is essential to maintaining
the strength of ASTM standards. The fact that all negatives votes
must be resolved adds a rigorous dimension of quality control.
If an impasse with the voter occurs, the subcommittee should ensure
that each negative be fairly considered and addressed. The majority
of the subcommittee then decides if the negative is valid or not
through "Not Related" or "Not Persuasive" actions. It is not a
perfect system, but it has stood the test of time and served both
consumers and industry very well for the past 100 plus years.
To some in the process, handling of negative votes seems only
to delay the release of a new standard. However, by using some
proper approaches, many of the frustrations associated with negative
votes can be minimized or even avoided. It should also be emphasized
that the ASTM standards process is one of consensus, not unanimous
approval. Too often, the approval of a standard drags on much
longer than necessary because the subcommittee tries to appease
After we each separately served a three year term on the ASTM
Committee on Standards (COS), we developed a deeper appreciation
of ASTM process, especially ASTMs commitment to ensure a voters
rights are accorded due process. Prior to our COS tenures, we
had only a vague understanding of the scope and function of the
COS. The purpose of this paper is take the experience we gained
from COS participation and provide some suggestions that will
hopefully help subcommittees more efficiently and fairly handle
Our immediate reaction after receiving our first COS Ballot of
approximately 200 pages was "does this mean that COS reviews the
action on every negative voted "Not Related" or "Not Persuasive"
from all ASTM subcommittees?" This review role is a key function
of COS that was not well understood by us and is probably not
well known by many ASTM members. Our initial impression was that
COS dealt only with appeals and arbitration functions, as well
as maintaining the Form and Style Manual (Blue Book). The latter
responsibilities are part of the committees function, but the
bulk of the work in COS is the independent monthly review of every
subcommittees Reports of Action Taken on Main Committee Negative
Votes (commonly still referred to as the "Pink Sheets") received
at ASTM Headquarters during the preceding month.
The COS role of appeals is a fundamental part of our standards
development process and although there may be some who appear
to favor abolishing the appeals option even in the ASTM process
(see Brooke, 2000), we feel strongly that the appeals option is
part of the process that strengthens standards. Having the appeals
option available to negative voters compels the Committees to
properly handle negative ballots. COS only rules on procedural
matters. Disputes of a technical nature must be handled at the
subcommittee level. Once COS, on behalf of the Society, has favorably
determined that the action on each negative vote has met the procedural
requirements of the Society, the standard is approved for publication
After we each reviewed documents during our respective three-year
COS terms, it became apparent that many of the problems that required
COS action can be classified into a few recurring categories.
In the following sections, we will present examples of these problems
from actual subcommittee action documentation and we will offer
suggestions that will improve the Subcommittee actions and minimize
the delay on the development of a standard. We hope that providing
specific examples of both weak and well-crafted subcommittee actions
will offer a more instructive format. Our goal here is to help
the subcommittees improve and streamline the balloting process;
facilitate the procedures for handling and documenting actions
on negative votes; and reduce the chance that the publication
of a standard will be delayed due to an unnecessary procedural
problem. Obviously, another goal is to streamline the COS review.
We have tried to sanitize examples from actual COS ballots as
much as possible to provide constructive illustrations and not
to criticize specific individuals or subcommittees.
A goal of a subcommittee should be to reduce the number of negative
votes on ballot items. Many negatives reflect a general breakdown
in communication within the subcommittee or committee. The subcommittee
has the responsibility to develop good technical standards and
to ensure committee and Society consensus approval of the standards.
To this end, the ballot item must be clear to the voter and changes
that are being balloted must be clearly noted. The letter ballot
should contain a statement providing the reason for balloting
each item (Regulations 11.1.3). When a negative ballot is received,
the individual responsible for the ballot item needs to ensure
that the ballot is properly considered for its technical merits
and that all points of the negative are addressed.
The negative voter also has responsibilities. The negative vote
must contain a clear reason(s) for the dissension and it should
relate to the item being balloted. Any negative vote that is not
accompanied by a written statement is recorded as abstaining and
need not be considered further (Regulations 220.127.116.11). If the
voter chooses not to withdraw the ballot, then the subcommittee
has the responsibility to properly handle the negative.
Finally, to aid in gaining a better picture of the overall balloting
and review sequence, Figure 1 provides a generalized flow diagram of the entire ASTM standards
development process. The next section of this paper addressing
communication and ballot preparation issues deals largely with
the left side of the flow diagram in Figure 1. The second section, which discusses dealing with negatives,
focuses on the right side of the flow diagram. In Figure 1, steps that move the ballot item forward are shown with green
arrows. Those that move the item back at least one step are show
in red. Appeal steps are shown in blue and will result in either
a green or red path.
Communication and Ballot Preparation:
Problems of communication and poor ballot preparation can result
from a lack of compliance with the requirements of the Regulations
Governing ASTM Technical Committees (the "Green Book") and/or
the Form and Style for ASTM Standards (the "Blue Book"). These
problems are, succinctly, often a failure to communicate during
the ballot preparation phase. Ironically, many of these problems
do not manifest themselves in the initial balloting process itself.
Most frequently, they arise during the appeal process or requests
for clarification or additional documentation by a COS reviewer.
Often, a negative voter that still feels strongly about his negative
that was determined "Not Persuasive" on a technical basis will
turn to the Green and Blue Books to look for possible procedural
errors to sustain his appeal. Specific examples of procedural
errors are (1) failure to document actions in the main subcommittee
minutes (justification, voting tallies, etc.), (2) failure to
include a cover letter for concurrent ballots, (3) questions concerning
committee balance, (4) questions on official voter status during
actions on negatives, and (5) a variety of Form and Style inconsistencies.
ASTM Regulation 11.6 states "
Concurrent letter ballots shall
include a cover letter
the cover letter should include the reasons
for balloting concurrently and background information regarding
the proposed ballot item." This basic cover letter requirement
is often overlooked in the ballot and has been the grounds for
successful appeals to COS. This simple oversight may result in
publication delays to as long as a year because the standard has
to be cycled back through the balloting process. The cover letter
requirement provides good initial communication in the ballot
The cover letter must also be objective in its content. Cover
letters that attempt to prejudice the balloting results can also
be a problem when it comes to a "due process" determination. Example 1 is an excerpt from a cover letter that was not objective. The
negative voter justifiably took issue with the intimidating tone
of this section of the cover letter.
Basically, this cover letter threatens anyone who votes negative
with the wording "heavily scrutinized." Although the intent of
the cover letter probably was not meant to be heavy-handed, it
clearly went beyond the threshold of objectivity to the point
where it compromises a sense of due process. Furthermore, urging
voters to stifle negatives with the offer to take them up at a
later date after the standard is approved does not guarantee they
will ever get their concerns addressed and is probably not a good
precedent to follow.
Example 2 is another excerpt from a biased cover letter.
Mr. Doe felt that the cover letter was not objective and that
he did not get a fair hearing of his negative vote. The term "favorable
consideration" in the last sentence is another questionable phrase,
but overall the tone of the letter is less than objective. This
letter implies "dont look at the technical issue(s), we just
need your affirmative vote to move this standard forward." Thus
the voter is not getting unbiased consideration of his negative.
Example 3 is an objective cover letter that provides not only the basic
"what and why" information, but also illustrates clarity regarding
the specific proposed revision being balloted and contact information
Everything the voter needs is contained in the balloted item.
There is no need to refer back to the book of standards or go
back to the files to get the last meeting minutes or ballot to
determine what was previously balloted. The voter can quickly
come up to speed as to the status of the last ballot and the proposed
changes are clearly indicated in the balloted item. The task of
showing and highlighting words and phrases that are being balloted
to be either omitted or added in a ballot item, as illustrated
in Example 3, is much easier now because all standards are available in digital
format. The digital approach is far superior to old hand-lettered
annotations with white-out and arrows on a multi-generation Xerox
copies. Hand-done efforts often ended up looking like "chicken
scratchings" and commonly were barely legible. It only takes a
few minutes more to prepare a clear ballot item that will benefit
the subcommittee during the balloting review. In addition, the
time needed for COS review of any actions on negative ballots
should be reduced.
Dealing with Negative Votes:
One of the basic cornerstones and strengths of the entire ASTM
consensus process is the rigorous assurances that dissenting views
are accorded due process throughout the standards balloting. The
subcommittee often views the task of handling negative votes with
a certain amount of dread for a number of reasons. However, when
handled properly, many of the problems associated with negative
votes can be minimized or even eliminated. Regardless of the amount
of effort that goes into the preparation of a ballot item, the
potential for substantiated negatives is always present. The following
sections offer suggestions on dealing with negative votes that
will hopefully facilitate their resolution.
Initial communication with voter
Probably the most fundamental method of resolving negatives is
simply to contact the negative voter and discuss the negative.
Often, simple clarification of the ballot item may result in the
withdrawal of the negative. Withdrawal of negatives is not only
the cleanest method of resolving negatives, but it also saves
significant time and effort. Once the negative is withdrawn, the
only work required is to mark the Pink Sheet "Withdrawn." Figure 1 dramatically illustrates the benefits of negotiating the withdrawal
of a negative. If the item was a main ballot situation, the standard
proceeds directly to publication avoiding a number of additional
steps. Valuable meeting time is not wasted discussing and acting
on the negative, the extra work involved in documenting the actions
is avoided, and no review at COS level is required.
Despite its obvious benefits, this basic communication step is
too often improperly handled or completely overlooked. One of
the fundamental questions most COS members ask when reviewing
subcommittee actions is "was the voter contacted?" In other words,
did the voter get an opportunity to explain their negative, if
it was ambiguous? Perhaps there is a need to have a "Was the voter
contacted?" box on the Pink Sheets that must be checked by the
subcommittee chairman. In any case, the subcommittee should note
when the voter was contacted (or state why voter was not contacted)
as part of the subcommittee documentation of the action taken.
The documentation of that direct contact eliminates an important
question during COS review.
Example 4 illustrates the desirability of contacting the voter immediately
upon notification of the receipt of a negative.
The key word in Example 4 is "apparently." To a COS reviewer, it appears that the voter
was not contacted. It seems like a simple phone call in this situation
may have cleared up this negative rather than trying to guess
the voters concern(s). Contacting the voter and getting a withdrawal
of the negative after clarification would have saved a significant
amount of subsequent time and paperwork
The negative voter must also share some of the communications
responsibility. In some cases, repeated efforts to contact the
negative voter by phone or email are ignored. Once a negative
vote is cast, the voter should make himself or herself available
to discuss the negative.
Clarification of ballot item
If there is a question as to what is being balloted, it is better
to ask for clarification or more information. This point is illustrated
in Example 5.
In this case, a quick phone call to the designated contact for
Subcommittee X99.22 or to ASTM headquarters could have solved
the voters problem. Also, on the basis of the subcommittee reasons
provided, if the negative had nothing to do with the content of
the standard, it should have been ruled "Not related." This example
also demonstrates why it is a good idea to list a subcommittee
contact in the cover letter accompanying the ballot item (see
Example 6 illustrates a similar case, however, it has also has several
First, inclusion of the "promised" data may have eliminated this
negative entirely. As discussed in Example 4, inclusion of pertinent
data and contact information for questions with the ballot, facilitates
the ballot review. Some of the responsibility also lies with the
voter, who could have called the appropriate contacts to request
the needed data before casting the negative, if those contacts
were provided in the ballot item. Regardless of the responsibility
issues, simply forwarding the data does not technically address
the voters negative nor is it a reasonable justification for
a "not persuasive" vote. After the requested data are received
and reviewed by the voter, the subcommittee may decide to sustain
the negative. Actually, the issue is one of timing. Forwarding
the data after the negative vote was determined "Not Persuasive"
violates the sense of due process. At that point, its too late.
The technical information should have been forwarded to the voter
for review prior to any action taken by the subcommittee. Then,
if the voter still did not withdraw the negative, the negative
could have been addressed on its technical merits.
In Examples 4, 5 and 6, there was ample opportunity to contact the negative voters prior
to the subcommittee meetings. Clarification and/or additional
materials could have been provided to try to negotiate withdrawals
of the negative vote to avoid the using subcommittee meeting time
to deal with the negatives and provide subsequent paperwork through
One last point to stress is the need to contact the voter far
enough in advance of the next subcommittee meeting where the negative
is scheduled to be taken up to allow for a reasonable amount of
time to discuss and negotiate. There have even been situations
where the voter was first contacted literally as he or she walked
into the meeting where the negative was on the agenda. Last minute
attempts may trigger a confrontation and less opportunity for
a reasonable discussion with the negative. This type of action
only jeopardizes chances of negotiating a withdrawal of the negative.
In situations when the negative is not withdrawn despite negotiations
in good faith, the subcommittee as a whole must deal with the
negative or withdraw the ballot. If it is decided that the negative
is persuasive, the ballot is withdrawn for further revision. However,
if it is felt that the negative is not valid, a motion to make
a Not Persuasive (or Not Related) should be made and the subcommittee
should vote on the motion.
A majority of the problems associated with negatives during the
COS review stem from inadequate documentation of the committees
action(s). In preparation for action on a motion, the subcommittee
should prepare a written response that cites and addresses each
point of the negative on a technical basis. This response can
be circulated before or during the meeting so that those in attendance
may have a clearer understanding of the issue(s). This advance
preparation also facilitates Subcommittee documentation in the
minutes and preparation of the Pink Sheet. If such preparation
is not taken, problems such as lacking sufficient meeting time
COS members who review all subcommittee actions commonly have
little or no knowledge of the background of the issue in question.
A basic question to ask yourself when submitting subcommittee
documentation is "Can you determine if due process was followed
based solely on the information you are providing which accompanies
the "Pink Sheet?" By answering that question sincerely, there
is little doubt that the review process would be greatly facilitated.
Addressing technical merits
Example 7 illustrates a situation where the negative was not addressed
properly on a technical basis.
The negative along with a similar negative, although somewhat
cryptic, apparently raised a valid technical objection (along
with a similar negative)("other test configurations could give
similar results"). In fact, the task group effectively agreed
with the negative and by proposeding to editorially add a note
to the standard to address the negative. Subsequent to the Not
Persuasive motion, both the staff manager and ASTM editorial staff
ruled that the proposed Note was too technical in nature to be
This example raises a key point. Dispatching a negative as editorial
can result in a classic "gotcha." If the "editorial" determination
is overruled after the Persuasive motion is completed and the
meeting over, the negative has not been addressed technically
and is therefore still "live." Example 7 received a negative at COS for this very reason and was remanded
back to the committee for proper handling of the negative vote,
which significantly delayed publication of the standard. It should
be stressed that editorial changes are those that introduce no
change in technical content or correct typographical errors in
substance (ASTM Regulations, 10.6.4.1). It seems fairly obvious
that adding language allowing for alternative test setups was
technical in nature. However, if there is any doubt, it is best
to do some homework ahead of time and check with the staff manager
or editor to get an opinion prior to the meeting to avoid pitfalls
such as Example 7. If the negative is more than editorial, it must be dealt with
technically, if feasible, or sent back to the task group for revisions
and reballoting. Other remedies to Example 7 might have included negotiating an understanding with the voter
to withdraw the negative with an agreement to take the negative
up as a new business item. This would have permitted the standard
to move forward as well as address the voters concerns.
Example 8 illustrates where there was a failure to technically address
a negative vote.
This negative appears to have been hastily dispatched as editorial,
yet it is stated that the suggested change would have to wait
to "be considered for the 5-year revision." If this negative was
truly editorial in nature, these suggested additions could have
been made immediately. The proposed wording certainly appears
to be more than editorial. The fact that it was tabled implies
that it was substantive. Therefore, this negative should have
been dealt with on a technical basis. A substantive negative cannot
be simply dispatched by ruling it editorial or taken up as new
Address all points of the negative
Failure to address all the points of a negative is probably the
most frequently encountered problem. As previously mentioned,
the best way to address a negative is to dissect it into distinct,
separate issues and address each point of the negative separately
based on technical merit. This is especially helpful when a negative
is lengthy or is submitted in paragraph style with multiple issues
in a given paragraph. Example 9 illustrates the failure to fully address the negative completely.
The subcommittee could have subdivided the negative in Example 9 into two points:
a. The voter feels that the definitions are reversed and that
the term "endurance limit" is deprecated. Therefore, the Committee
should abandon use of this term in deference to the accepted terms
in use. The voter also offers technical suggestions. The subcommittees
reason of "still widely used" does not address the voters technical
issues. Furthermore, "widely used" does not ensure that the definitions
are technically correct or part of the Committees Terminology.
In this case, the subcommittee should also be consistent with
the Committee Terminology Standard (see Introduction of Part E,
Form and Style for ASTM Standards).
b. The voter raises the issue of the possible need for the additional
definition for "Median Stress." While this may not be related
to the balloted terms, it would have been cleaner to rule it Not
Related in a separate motion. This allows the balloted item to
be published and this second point brought up and considered at
the next committee meeting as a new item of business.
When COS members review lengthy negatives, commonly the negative
and the committee response must be reread repeatedly to determine
if the negative was fully addressed. In situations where there
is a question, the appropriate staff manager is contacted who
may, in turn, need to contact the subcommittee for additional
clarification and/or documentation. This back and forth clarification
process is not only time consuming, but may also produce results
that are not desirable. In one such instance, in a request for
documentation by a COS member, the committee minutes revealed
that the committee completely failed to document the subcommittee
Not Persuasive action and did not include justification and vote
counts. As a result, the balloted item was remanded back to the
subcommittee to be handled properly. The standard in question
was a critical method that was overdue for reapproval and in jeopardy
of being withdrawn from publication. Fortunately, the committee
had a meeting scheduled soon after this inquiry and was able to
redo and document the action correctly and in time to avoid the
withdrawal of the standard.
An example of a well-crafted subcommittee response is illustrated
in Example 10.
In this example, each point of the negative is repeated individually
and the subcommittee response is presented in Italics immediately
following each point of the negative. This kind of preparation
greatly facilitates the entire action process. Well organized
responses make it clear to those voting during the main committee
review what the issue(s) are, make it easier to prepare the Pink
Sheet report, and helps at the COS review level where the balloting
actions must be scrutinized based solely on the subcommittee action
report provided. It also ensures that each point of the negative
was adequately addressed.
In Example 10, the committee chose to act on all points of the negative simultaneously.
This certainly is a valid procedure, but voting on each point
of the negative separately is often a better option. This is especially
true for a multiple point negative where only part of the negative
is persuasive (item withdrawn). By acting on any points of the
negative felt to be Not Related or Not Persuasive immediately,
these points will not have to be dealt with again. Additionally,
it focuses revisions to just those points that were persuasive.
Furthermore, if the voter files an appeal to COS, the handling
of each point separately may simplify the appeals process.
Additional issues include weak or inappropriate arguments and
motions, insufficient documentation, and similar problems. Example 11 illustrates several of these problems.
Whether or not the wording is being changed is not the issue if
that wording was included in the ballot. For example, if a paragraph
is balloted with a change to only one sentence, the entire paragraph
is being balloted and vulnerable to potential negatives. Changing
one sentence may affect the related sentences. If the section
in question was not part of the items being balloted, then the
motion should have been for a Not Related rather than Not Persuasive
Another point in Example 11 that raises a "red flag" concerning due process is the statement
"has been in use for at least 30 years." In a sense, what is implied
is "It has been this way for over 30 years and we are not about
to change it!" This kind of position begs the question why even
ballot the section? There may be valid technical reasons to maintain
the current wording, but just because it has been on the books
for 30 years is poor justification. It would have been much better
to state something to the effect "we feel the item was technically
correct and appropriate as balloted."
Example 12 illustrates a similar problem shown in Example 11.
If the justification for declaring a voter Not Persuasive is that
a document outside ASTM must be modified before the ASTM Standard
is changed, then why even vote on the item? It seems that this
logic denies the voter due process by virtually creating an "automatic
not persuasive" determination in such cases. While it is often
desirable to keep related documents "in step" with one another,
that logic should not be a constraining factor in promoting and
improving ASTM Standards.
The X99 Committee should address the voters negative based on
its technical merits. If the technical issues are truly Not Persuasive,
then that should be the basis of that determination. If the technical
concerns are warranted, the changes should be made and the committee
should initiate efforts to have the other document(s) modified
accordingly. If this position is not followed, it seems that ASTM
Standards are "locked in concrete" waiting for other organizations
to take the lead. This does not seem to be the preferable option.
Committees have the responsibility to define terminology within
technical standards and for developing terminology as a type of
standard (Part E, Form and Style for ASTM Standards). It is important
to emphasize that all significant terms that may have a meaning
more specialized or more restricted than the common dictionary
meaning should be defined within a standard, or the terminology
standard should be referenced. (See Bluebook Part E on Terminology.)
The example in Example 13 illustrates the need to more fully document committee actions
on the Pink Sheets.
In this case, a negative at COS was cast in the review of this
action because there was not enough information provided in the
subcommittee action summary to make an informed decision. The
rather cryptic justification "technical merit and ongoing X99
initiative" provides little substantive information. What is meant
by "technical merit" and "ongoing initiatives"? It would have
been better to state "the committee feels that force is a more
appropriate term than load. Because of that decision, the committee
is conducting an initiative to replace "load" with "force" wherever
appropriate." The COS negative was later withdrawn after more
complete documentation was submitted by the subcommittee but substantial
amount of additional effort was required to resolve the matter.
Whereas the Pink Sheets require only a summary of committee action(s),
additional information should be provided for COS members to make
an informed decision based solely on the justification presented
in the committee summary of action report.
It should be noted that the negative might have been completely
avoided in the first place. The voter stated "the ballot does
not give a reason why an effort to replace..., in the absence
of any justification for the change, I object." Based on this
comment, it appears that little or no background information or
explanation accompanied the balloted item in question. This underscores
the need to provide such information in a cover letter. Actually,
if this was a concurrent ballot, a cover letter is mandatory and
a negative based on that requirement would have been sustainable.
One last point to make concerning this example is emphasizing
the need to contact the voter prior to the meeting to see if the
voters concern(s) can be addressed and the negative withdrawn.
Issues like this example beg the question could this negative
been resolved through simple clarification? This approach is so
much cleaner and reduces all the subsequent time and work in the
handling and review process. Furthermore, it simply avoids the
less desirable alternative of taking a Not Persuasive action.
Example 14 illustrates another common problem of taking the wrong action
on the negative.
In this example, the negative should have been broken into two
parts. This would have been especially helpful because the actions
required are different for the two parts of the negative. The
first part dealing with the age of the user was supposedly not
intended to be the issue being balloted. Additional information
would be needed to confirm that determination. If the section
the voter questioned was included in the ballot, it could be a
valid argument whether intended or not to be balloted. If it was
truly not an issue being balloted, the correct motion should have
been to find this part of the negative Not Related rather than
Not Persuasive. The Not Related motion requires that the negative
be taken up as an item of new business as the committee indicated.
The second part of the negative was correctly handled as a Not
We have tried to summarize the steps involved in the balloting
process in Figure 1. The left hand of the diagram illustrates the flow of a well-prepared
consensus ballot item. Other paths in the diagram show possible
breakdowns in communication in the balloting process, which can
be improved using the following suggestions:
1. Provide clear and informative cover letters for ballot items.
2. Use digital documents and clearly show additions and changes
proposed in the ballot item.
3. Communicate appropriately with the negative voter. Prior to
the meeting, contact the voter to clarify points of negative votes
or to discuss the negative vote and negotiate possible ways to
withdraw the negative.
4. In the cover letter, provide an easy means for voters to obtain
copies of standards that are being balloted for re-approval. It
should be a shared responsibility of both the voter and subcommittee
chair to obtain the most recent standard
5. Provide complete information for the ballot item including
supporting complementary data or Research Reports as appropriate.
6. Address the negative vote on a technical basis.
7. Assure that all points of the negative are addressed.
8. Subdivide the negative into the separate points and address
each individually even if only one is found persuasive. Separate
handling of negative points facilitates more efficient handling
in future ballots.
9. Clearly show the ballot item. If only a one sentence in a paragraph
is being changed, then only that sentence should be shown on the
ballot as the item. Additional information can be included in
the cover letter.
10. Technical Committees are responsible for terminology used
in standards. Definitions must be prepared and balloted if a term
is essential to the interpretation and application of a standard
and the term used is not adequately defined in a common language
11. Adequately document in the minutes all aspects of the committee
and subcommittee actions including content of the negative, motions
made, rationale, and votes tallies.
12. Use correct motion to handle negative. Do not vote something
Not Related when it should be voted Not Persuasive or vice versa.
One final point, we strongly urge all committees to nominate members
to participate in COS. Because of our participation on COS, we
serve as a resource for our committee in counseling the subcommittee
to prepare better ballot items, to help resolve negative ballots
where possible, and to ensure proper handling and documenting
actions on negatives. In our committee, we have witnessed:
1. A significant reduction of COS Negatives on actions taken by
our Committee and a significant decrease in appeals made to COS
and the Board of Directors;
2. An increased willingness of subcommittee chairman to efficiently
and properly handle negatives;
3. A significant reduction in the time required for ballot items
to become standards or incorporated into standards, and;
4. The development of stronger standards. //
ASTM, 2000, Form and Style for ASTM Standard: American Standards
for Testing and Materials, 100 Barr Harbor Ave, West Conshohocken,
PA 19428, 60p.
ASTM, 2000, Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees: American
Standards for Testing and Materials, 100 Barr Harbor Ave, West
Conshohocken, PA 19428, 29 p.
Brook, Morris (MO), 2000, "In praise of the Fat Lady" in ASTM
Standardization News June 2000, ASTM, p. 18-19.
Copyright 2000, ASTM