Balloting

    How am I notified that an ballot has been issued?

    When an ballot is issued you will receive an email informing you of the open and close dates and the URL to access the ballot. If you do not have an email address registered at ASTM, you will receive a hard copy letter containing the same information. The hard copy letter is generated approximately one week prior to the ballot issue so that it reaches non-email members at approximately the same time as the email message.

    Go back to the top

    Where is the ballot located?

    The e ballot notification will direct you to the MyASTM/Login page. From there you are instructed to enter the "MyASTM" section. The process is the same as if you were accessing your minutes or the committee roster; you enter your user name (member number or email address) and your password. Once inside the "MyASTM" section you will see a link to any open ballots. You can also view ‘My Outstanding Ballots’. Ballots not submitted will be listed here until the ballot closes. (Please note if there are no open ballots there will not be a link)

    Each ballot is identified using the naming convention that you are accustomed to, for example E05 (12-01) is the first E05 Main Committee ballot in the year 2012.

    When you click on the link to the ballot you are brought to the "informational ballot" which is a listing of each item on the ballot. The ballot will automatically populate itself with your name and committee information. This system is able to do this because it knows who you are when you log on with your member number or email address.

    Go back to the top

    What happens if I forget my user name and/or password?

    Your User Name is your email address or your ASTM Account Number

    If you have forgotten your password, for security purposes, we ask that you create a new one. On the login page, click the "Forgot Your Password?" link and enter the email address associated with your astm.org account. We'll email you a link to a page where you can easily create a new password.

    If you continue to experience problems logging in, please contact the ASTM Support Desk at http://www.astm.org/SUPPORT/index.html.

    Go back to the top

    How do I access the ballot items?

    It was very important to ASTM when designing the ballot to allow members to easily access only the ballot items of interest. The system allows a person to open ballot items individually or to download all documents. To Access Supporting Documentation:

    • Individual Documents: click on the hyper-linked item description on the ballot, below.
    • Need help with an ZIP file? Click here

    Go back to the top

    I want to view all of the ballot items but am having trouble opening the ZIP file.

    To Access Supporting Documentation:

    • Individual Documents: click on the hyper-linked item description on the ballot, below.
    • All Documents: To download all supporting documents (EXE file), click ALL DOCUMENTS. (Need help with an EXE file? Click help/EXE)

    Go back to the top

    How do I cast my vote?

    To cast your vote on an item, click on the appropriate radio button. If you choose to vote negative, affirmative with comment or abstain with comment, a text box will automatically appear for you to provide your written statement. You can either type directly into the box, copy text from another file and paste into the box or use the Browse button (Choose File button for Safari or Chrome users) to upload a document.

    If you do not provide a written statement for an item for which you have voted negative, affirmative with comment or abstain with comment, the system will not allow you to submit your ballot. A warning will appear that asks you to supply a statement or attach a statement file.

    Go back to the top

    What happens if I complete a portion of a ballot and want to return at a later time?

    You may complete a portion of the ballot and then save the information by using the "Save and Return Later" button. When you log back into the MyASTM section of the web site the system will be able to retrieve your ballot where you left off. This feature is especially important for large ballots that may take a number of sessions to complete.

    When you have completed the ballot, hit the "Submit Ballot to ASTM" button. This sends the information to ASTM. Your ballot is not counted as being returned until the submit button is pressed.

    Go back to the top

    Can I get a record of how I voted?

    When you hit the "Submit Ballot to ASTM" button, a summary of how you voted on each item will appear on your screen. Your written and attached statements for negative, affirmative with comment or abstain with comment will be included. To save a copy of the summary, click "Email" or "Print" at the top of the page.

    Go back to the top

    How long will the ballot remain on the Web site?

    The ballot will appear on the web until the close date. The only exception is if the ballot has not reached the 60% return required for a valid ballot. If this is the case the ballot will remain posted until a 60% return is obtained.

    The system has been designed to automatically send reminders to members who have not returned their ballots. These reminders will be sent out two weeks prior to the closing date of the ballot. If there is a problem with reaching the 60% return, additional reminders will be sent.

    Go back to the top

    After the ballot closes, where can I go to see the results?

    For regular members, you may view results in Closed Ballots/Closing Reports. From MyASTM, go to My Ballots, then Closed Ballots/Closing Reports. Closed ballots are posted for one calendar year after closing. The closing reports include vote counts and statements returned from comments and negative votes. Technical Contacts and Subcommittee Chairmen may go to Negatives & Comments under ‘My Tools’ in ‘My Committees'.

    Go back to the top

    How will negatives and comments be distributed?

    When a ballot is submitted it is transmitted to ASTM along with the associated comments and negatives. Comments and negatives are posted to Negatives &Comments under ‘My Tools’ in ‘My Committees’ for subcommittee chairmen and technical contacts. Subcommittee chairmen and technical contacts are notified when new statements are posted on a daily basis during the ballot.

    After the ballot closes, results will continue to be posted in this area for subcommittee chairmen and technical contacts. All members may view results after the ballot closes in 'Closed Ballots/Closing Reports' (from MyASTM, go to My Ballots, then select 'Closed Ballots/Closing Reports').

    Go back to the top

    I returned my ballot. Why did I get a reminder?

    There are several possible reasons.

    • It is possible that your ballot return and your reminder have crossed in the mail.
    • Often multiple ballots are open concurrently. You may have returned another ballot that is open.
    • When you return your ballot, select the 'Submit Ballot to ASTM' button. You may have selected the 'Save and Return Later' button by mistake.
    • Another possibility, although much more remote, is that your web connection may have been interrupted during your ballot session.

    A good way to check the status of a ballot return is to go on line and view ‘My Outstanding Ballots’. One other option is to look into MyAccount select Recent Member Activity and select ‘Ballots Returned’. This will provide the recent votes you submitted.

    Go back to the top

    What is a ballot?

    Consensus on the content of a standard is developed using ASTM International's balloting process. When a new standard or revisions to an existing standard are proposed, the draft language is posted to the private, members-only access side of the website. After reviewing the proposed technical content of the ballot item, members vote to approve, abstain or vote a negative on the item. These votes are resolved by the subcommittee.

    Go back to the top

    What are the levels of balloting?

    The formal balloting process begins at the subcommittee level. The subcommittee is the more concentrated group of experts on the subject matter and consensus is first developed there. When approved at the subcommittee level, the ballot item moves to the main committee Level. This is where the wider group of individuals on the committee participate in the consensus development process.

    Go back to the top

    When can a ballot be issued?

    Ballots are conducted on the ASTM website. There is a great deal of flexibility as to when ballots are issued. Some committees open a ballot when a particular draft is ready. Other committees schedule dates for ballots and all items that are ready in time appear on the regularly scheduled ballot.

    Go back to the top

    What is an administrative ballot?

    The administrative ballot helps task group and subcommittee leaders make progress on actions between meetings by providing a way to gather opinions, and measure the degree of consensus on a topic without having to send a proposed draft out for approval and publication. Subsequent technical revisions can result from information gathered during an Administrative Ballot.

    Go back to the top

    What is a technical contact? Task group leader?

    A "technical contact" is the task group chair, the proponent for a new or revised standard. This is the person who leads the group in the development of the language that makes up the standard. This person also leads the review of input and resolution of votes.

    Go back to the top

    How do I vote on a ballot?

    All ballots are conducted on the ASTM International website. You will receive an email notifying you that the ballot is open, along with related information. Log in to My ASTM, and go to your My Committees page to access the ballot via the link. There is a link to the ballot item and buttons used to cast the vote. A negative vote opens a dialogue box used to submit the technical rationale that must accompany a negative vote.

    Go back to the top

    How do I access ballot results and closing reports?

    When a ballot closes, the results, including the text of all negatives and comments, are posted to My ASTM. Log in to My ASTM and go to your My Committees page and View Closed Ballots/Closing Reports. Links provide access to all ballot responses and vote tallies.

    Go back to the top

    What is the difference between a non-voting member and a voting member?

    A voting interest is defined as "an organization, a subsidiary of an organization or an unassociated individual member having a distinctly separate interest from any other interests with regard to the scope of a committee or subcommittee," while a voting member "has the official vote on ballots and motions concerned with ASTM standards."

    While each voting interest is allowed one voting member, the Regulations also define non-official voting member as one "whose votes and comments on all ballots or motions shall be fully considered, but whose votes are not included in the calculation of the numerical voting requirements for standards."

    Each ASTM member, whether an official voting member or not, can vote on all Society Review items as well as on each ballot of a main committee and subcommittee to which the member belongs. Negatives and comments submitted from all ballot returns, from official and non-official voting members alike, must be considered.

    Go back to the top