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Re: Central Count - Blank Ballot Feed

Is this message the Central Count method of informing the user of an uncalibrated scan?  Remember that the AccuVote in feeder mode can't reject the ballot to the reader input so it has to move it to the outstack and inform the user.
If the card reader can't complete a calibration on the leading edge of the ballot, then the reader sends 0's on it's SCANDATA signal to the AccuVote.  The AccuVote gets no timing marks and sees this ballot as a blank paper.  If you recall, the older PC 1.94o ROMs dropped ballots when this condition occurred.  Firmware levels PC 1.94p and up reject that ballot back to the voter. (I don't know the error message that is displayed).  All that needed to be done was to refeed the ballot with a clean edge, and "Bob's your Uncle".  Perhaps the same is for the Central Count.
White level calibration requires all 68 channels to see a white level that is at least 4 times the black level in 8 out of the first 30 samples.  For example, a black count of 5, times 4 equals a minimum 40 count that the white level must exceed.   Each channel doesn't have to see those 30 samples all at the same time, they just have to be the first 30 samples per channel. 
Uncalibrated scans can happen for a few reasons.  The leading edge being fed can be dirty or smudged, the ballot may be printed on colored paper stock that is out of spec, a corner may be torn out of the ballot, etc.  Pretty much anything that doesn't allow the first quarter inch of the ballot to appear white to the channels.
This is probably way more than you wanted to know, but maybe it'll help.
----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Clark
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2000 5:46 PM
Subject: RE: Central Count - Blank Ballot Feed

Once in a while the central count unit will stop the the message "blank ballot feed", but the last ballot is a standard voted ballot.   We've been recounting it, but it is a strange message given the ballot condition. 
I trust you mean "BLANK CARD FEED" and not "REJECT_BLANKCARD".  The BLANK CARD FEED message is not generated by GEMS.  It happens when the AccuVote gets no timing marks at all from the reader.  Feed a completely blank peice of paper into the AccuVote and you'll see the message every time. 
It has been a while, but I saw this myself in Pima and brought it up back in Nov 98.  I would be surprised if it doesn't happen in King all the time, but then I wouldn't know much about that.  Its the reader or the firmware, and my bet for a long time has been on the former.  My pet theory is that when it happens in precinct count we never hear about it since a poll worker would just shrug and refeed, and it always seems to take the second time.