Conducting Polls and NENA Workspace Ballots

From NENA Knowledge Base

Conducting Polls - What you need to know about NENA Workspace Ballots

Polls are an important part of a working group's activity. Surveys taken during calls using the Zoom's Poll feature or a Chat Window survey only represent the opinions of the meeting's participants but chairs are permitted to make consensus calls based on them if, in the opinion of the chairs, there is overwhelming consensus on the issue. For polls that include the entire group (or the designated voters), NENA Workspace provides two types of ballots to conduct polls. They are used to determine the preferences of the members and are also used to determine whether groups have the consensus required to publish documents.

Background and help from Higher Logic (NWS host) is available on their Working with Ballots page.

The "Approval Ballot" is the official ballot for approving documents. To set up an Approval Ballot see Help for Setting Up an Approval Ballot on NENA Workspace. For polling other than official, document approval, NENA Workspace provides what it calls a "General Ballot." Those ballots may either be a Consensus Ballot or a General Ballot, depending on how they are configured.

This table describes the primary differences between the three (3) ballot types and how they are used in ADM-001 NENA Development Group Organizational Structure and Operational Procedures:

A ballot type comparison table.

Approval Ballot General Ballot

(For Official Use)

General Ballot

(For Unofficial Use)

NENA Workspace Ballot Type Comparison
Ballot Type Summary Approval Ballot

Used to determine consensus required to move a document forward in the document approval process.

Consensus Ballot

Used for matters other than document approvals requiring consensus.

General Ballot

Used for informal agreement of non-document matters.

Can ballot be used to determine official consensus? Yes. No.
When must the ballot be used? When the candidate document is ready for publication. To determine official consensus on matters other than document approvals. Not required.
When should the ballot be used? When the candidate document is ready for publication.
  • To gain official consensus on matters other than document approval or
  • When consensus on an issue or disputed text is required and it is possible that the opinions expressed on a call may not be representative of the entire consensus body or
  • Deciding on whether or not to accept disputed responses to review comments.
  • To sample the entire group's opinion.
  • To get the group's preferences in choosing from multiple options.
  • To get opinions on non document-related issues.
Who can create the ballot? Committee Resource Manager (CRM), Working Group Chair, or Committee Chair
Who can vote? Officially designated voters as defined in NENA-ADM-001. The Consensus Body for NENA document approvals is made up of the independent individuals and Participating Entities whose Working Group representatives participate in the Official Ballots, including the Approval Ballots to approve the content of an ANS standard and whose vote demonstrates evidence of agreement. Anyone on the roster.
How to select in Workspace?
  1. Select "Documents" in the left menu.
  2. Navigate to the document requiring approval.
  3. In the "Edit" drop-down menu, select "Create Approval Ballot."
  4. Complete the form(s).
  1. Select "Ballots" in the left menu.
  2. Click on the green "Add" button (Not the drop-down arrow).
  3. Check "Official Ballot" check box.
  4. Complete the form(s).
  • Select "Ballots" in the left menu.
  • Click on the green "Add" button (Not the drop-down arrow).
  • Uncheck "Official Ballot" check box.
  • Complete the form(s).
Answer Options Restricted to "Yes," "No," or "Abstain." Flexible. May be "Yes," "No," or "Abstain" or multiple choice.
Is there a minimum required participation? Yes, 50% of eligible entities must vote for a valid decision on approval. A vote may be "Yes," "No," or "Abstain." Yes, 50% of eligible entities must vote for a valid decision on approval. A vote may be "Yes," "No," or "Abstain" or multiple choice. No. The interpretation of the ballot results are left to the Working Group members and may guide the WG leaders.
What happens if participation does not reach 50%? If 50% participation is not reached, the ballot should be recirculated so that voters who have not voted may vote, and voters may change their vote. Otherwise, existing votes remain valid. Participation may be increased by encouraging members to use the "Abstain" option and by removing members who did not vote. Discretion on accepting ballot results and participation level is left to the ballot originator with consideration given to the importance of the ballot.
What is threshold of votes to indicate consensus and approval? A document is approved when 2/3 of designated voters casting ballots vote to approve (not counting abstentions). If two options appear on a ballot, consensus is achieved when one option gains two-thirds of the vote.  If more than two options appear on the ballot and no one position gains two-thirds of the votes, the top two options determined by the votes cast will be used in a second ballot. Official consensus is not determined using an unofficial ballot.