Elections always come down to small batches of ballots to count. The following examples details how complex and detailed the final ballot counting becomes - this is critical to ensure that every single ballot is accounted for and included in the final vote totals.
Damaged ballots are paper ballots where the barcode has been compromised in some way, preventing the scanning of the ballot. Examples include a tear, pen marks, foreign material (such as food stains, smudges, etc.), or a fade in the barcode itself. Each of these ballots must be duplicated onto new ballot paper by hand.
A ballot unscanned is a ballot that did not scan on the first pass. Causes for this include issues in the barcode or a misfeed on a scanner. Each of these ballots must be located among the entire batch of scanned ballots (a needle in a haystack). Once found we must attempt to scan the ballot a second time and if it still will not scan we must duplicate it by hand.
An orphan ballot is a ballot that is returned without the full ballot (for example, a single page of a two page ballot). These ballots are not scanned in the early stages of the ballot scanning - we must wait to see if the voter returns the second page. Following Election Night we identify any orphan ballots and locate them among all of the ballots scanned. The orphan is then scanned into the actual tally.