[Date Prev][Date Next] [Chronological] [Thread] [Top]

Re: Blank Memory Cards

  I should have expected this.  Please take my comments as just being of my
own experience and not a statement of official company policy.

>     Jefferson Co. Ky. had a recanvas of their election today. In the
> recanvas the same accuvote units were used for 284 memory cards. The
> same two cards came up with the format question. Is there a way to check
> the cards to see if they are in fact blank or not being read correctly.

  The only practical way to check is to re-insert the cards enough times,
possibly in different Accu-Votes, so that either they work or you give up.
This hardly seems very sophisticated but until we can be sure that each
contact is making a good connection, we can be sure of what we're reading.
And the only way to be sure that we've got a good connection is to recognize
a good memory card format.  Thus re-formatting the memory card, which does a
full memory test, would check the connections but would of course wipe out
your data.

> Should I ask them to clean the contacts and reinsert in an accuvote?

  Re-insert yes but I wouldn't advocate trying to clean the contacts unless
they can see the problem.  You might have them carefully pull back the
contact cover plate on the memory card and clean out any visible dust or
grime.  The contacts are gold plated (as far as I can tell from their color)
and so corrosion shouldn't be a problem unless the plating has worn off.
Cleaning the contacts in the memory card socket may be beyond what a
non-technician could do.  You could open the Accu-Vote (by removing the 5
screws) which lets light into the socket and then do a visual check for
stuff in there.  If there is something there, first try blowing it out and
if that doesn't work, try to brush it out (a toothbrush might work well).
Be very careful trying to force something out as this is likely to bend the
contact pins and then you're really finished.

  Without official policy, you're going to have to judge what you're
customer will be comfortable with and go from there.  I'm sure that someone
will pipe up if my advice is less than sound. ;-)