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Online Ballot Item Submittal

by Scott Orthey

ASTM International is pleased to announce the online ballot item submittal system. This new tool will enable committee members to submit new standards, revisions, reapprovals, withdrawals, and reinstatements for ballot using a Web browser.

As I explained in the article “Work Item Registration,” work items are to be promptly registered upon initiation of a revision or a new standard, enabling tracking even before a ballot is issued. Submitting an item for ballot is a separate step in the process that must be done through the new online ballot item submittal system.

The new online ballot item submittal system simplifies work item registration: submittal of a withdrawal or a reinstatement to ballot automatically results in the creation of a work item. Reapproval ballots do not generate work items, however.

Until now, members have used e-mail or a form that has been posted on the ASTM Web page to submit items for ballot. While these have served adequately in providing for submittal of items, there is much to be gained by use of the new online ballot item submittal system.

• Clarity – The ballot item submittal page will clearly indicate the submittal requirements for each type of ballot, saving time and effort by reducing errors in ballot submission.
• Simplicity – The ballot item submittal pages are designed as a series of radio buttons and menus that guide members through choices for submitting ballot items.
• Functionality – Confirmations are built in to the ballot submittal process, reducing confusion and increasing convenience for system users.
• Proximity – The new ballot item submittal system is located on the same Web page as work item registration, allowing a single location for members to go to when initiating any kind of standards action.

The following example illustrates a typical submittal to ballot of a work item for revision.

NOTE: Click here for PDF showing examples of each step.

Step 1: Login

From your “MyASTM/My Committees” page, click on “Create/Edit a Work Item - Submit a Ballot Item.” This brings you to the Work Item Registration and Ballot Item Submittal page. Select the committee and click on “continue.”

Step 2: Type

Select the type of ballot action – new standard, revision, reapproval, withdrawal, or reinstatement. Selecting either a new standard or a revision will require the registration of that work item. A link to the work item registration is provided if there is not a work item already registered. Also, select the subcommittee and click on “continue.”

Step 3: Ballot Selection

Select the level of balloting for the item. The choices available are 1) subcommittee and 2) concurrent subcommittee/main committee/Society review. There is no choice for main committee ballot submittal only, since a revision that has passed subcommittee ballot is automatically submitted to main ballot. The note indicates that concurrent ballots are not permitted for the initial ballot of major revisions unless Regulations Section 11.7, Procedure for Rapid Balloting of New Standards, has been followed.

Step 4: Select Work Item

As mentioned in Step 2 above, revisions and new standards must first be registered before being submitted to ballot. On this screen, select the work item being submitted for ballot.

Step 5: Rationale

The rationale that was submitted for the work item is automatically pre-filled on to the ballot submittal.

Step 6: Data Summary

The ballot item submittal is summarized for review. Upon submittal, an e-mail is sent to the staff manager, the subcommittee chairman, and the technical contact of the work item confirming that the ballot has been submitted.

Step 7: Post File

Upon registration of the work item for revision, the Word document and instructions were provided for preparation of the ballot item. This step posts the document in the ballot queue. The system skips this step for reapproval and withdrawal ballot submissions because these do not require a document. It is possible to submit more than one ballot item for a given work item. See the instructions in the figure below for multiple files.

Step 8: Ballot Item Attachment Confirmation

The ballot item confirmation confirms that the attachment posted and the document has been queued for ballot.

The Help Desk is linked to every page of this system so that if you have any difficulties you may get assistance.

Your support of this new system is most appreciated. I am confident that effective implementation of technology by our members will lead to time and effort savings for the whole standards writing and using community. //

Copyright 2004, ASTM International

Scott Orthey is a staff manager in ASTM International’s Technical Committee Operations Division.