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Iris biometric systems apply filters to iris images to extract information about iris texture. Daugman's approach maps the filter output to a binary iris code. The fractional Hamming distance between two iris codes is computed and decisions about the identity of a person are based on the computed distance. The fractional Hamming distance weights all bits in an iris code equally. However, not all the bits in an iris code are equally useful. Our research is the first to present experiments documenting that some bits are more consistent than others. Different regions of the iris are compared to evaluate their relative consistency, and contrary to some previous research, we find that the middle bands of the iris are more consistent than the inner bands. The inconsistent-bit phenomenon is evident across genders and different filter types. Possible causes of inconsistencies, such as segmentation, alignment issues, and different filters are investigated. The inconsistencies are largely due to the coarse quantization of the phase response. Masking iris code bits corresponding to complex filter responses near the axes of the complex plane improves the separation between the match and nonmatch Hamming distance distributions.