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Re: AF status and colored ballots (was Questions)

  Ian and/or Tab may need to respond to these but they are very busy so I'll share what limited knowledge I have.
Has there been any further development on the status of our Accu Feed.  I.e. - reliability, faster, new design?
  As far as I know, there has been no further development on the Accu-Feed in at least 6 months.  All engineering efforts have been focussed on the Accu-Touch and probably will continue that way until the AT production has stabilized.  That said, there continues to be work on the GEMS and Accu-Vote central count software which help to make the entire system work more reliably (and therefore faster).
Does anyone have experience using visible light readers with colored (most notably blue shade) ballots? Ian indicated at one point last year that we could print on one specific blue, but apparently you have to order a truck load of the same to make the cost of generating that specific color cost effective. Apparently shoting the ballots with blue ink is also very expensive. Short of striping ballots do we have an answer, for example Georgia that mandates a blue and green color ballot for primaries?
  The visible light readers have been tested with an assortment of colored ballot stocks.  In general you can use one of the specified colors or you can test your own and take responsibility for advocating it.  If you're looking at new colored stocks, you need to keep in mind that the reader "sees" with a particular shade of red light.  Yes, it sees everything in red.  Thus there is no difference to it between what we see as white and what we see as red.  The importance then is the contrast between light and dark under red light.  A strong non-red color will be seen as black and the AV won't be able to distinguish between marks and paper.  It might help to look at the stock through a red filter and draw marks on the stock and check that there is a good contrast between marks and paper.  If that looks good then you'll have to print some ballots and run serious tests to check that the AV can properly recognize marks made with pencils, pens, and water and solvent based markers.  It's a time consuming process which is why the number of available tested colors is limited.

  That said, if you find a very pale blue stock of a paper type that works properly with the AV (that's another discussion), bets are that it will work fine since the paleness suggests that it is reflecting all light colors and not just blue.

  I hope this helps.

Guy Lancaster <glanca@gesn.com>
Global Election Systems Inc., Victoria, B.C., Canada
Phone: (250)995-8627