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Beverly Hills, California
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March 16, 2000     Beverly Hills Weekly
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March 16, 2000
 

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Academy Awards Ballots Missing in B.H. Mail Is Internet voting an alternative to the problem? By Justin Levine The final vot- ing deadline for the 72nd Academy Awards was extended by two days after 4,200 ballots slat- ed for first-class mail were inad- vertently processed as third-class mail. The discovery provided relief to  . Academy Awards executives who were initially stumped by the mystery of the missing first-class mailings. The ballots re originally mailed out on March 1 in 10 large mailbags. Price Waterhouse Coopers, an accounting finn that has been in charge of maintaining the integrity of the awards, took the ballot bags to the Beverly Hills post office at 325 North Maple Drive and deposited them there to be mailed out. However, many academy members had complained that they had not received their ballots one week after the mailings. As it turned out, the ballots wcrc mistaken for third-class mail because they were delivered to the post office in large bags that usually signal bulk mailings. The bags were thus diverted to a bulk mailing facility in South Central Los Angeles, rather than the usual Marina Del Roy processing Center for Beverly Hills mail. Before the discovery was unearthed, the Academy was forced to issue new ballotsand re-send them to the voting Academy members. Officials for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences assured the Beverly Hills Weekly that no potential voting fraud could arise out of the mistake. Each ballot is number coded, corresponding to an individual voting member. Each number is cross-checked so that a double-vote from having two sets of ballots could not occur. The mailing snafu is the second time that such a mistake has occurred. Academy ballots were also mistaken for third-class bulk mail in 1982. During that incident, the missing ballots were found in time and did not have to be mailed again. John Pavlik, Director of Communications for the Academy, informed the Beverly Hills Weekly that a meeting will be held soon after the awards cere - mony on March 26th in order to address the problem. "This will be a priority issue, though it should be an easy fix," Pavlik stat- ed. When asked by the Beverly Hills Weekly if the Academy would be con- sidering Internet voting as a possibility, Pavlik was quick to dismiss the notion. "We are too conservative to move into something that quickly...if ever," Pavlik said, The prospect of lntemet voting was raised after a federal judge in Arizona cleared the way for the first binding election in that state utilizing the Internet for the Democratic primary. Pavlik observed, tongue-in-cheek, "We will wait to see if [Internet voting] in national elections causes any problems before we do it with something much more important such as the Oscars." Most banks in Califomia don00 know how to sharpen one of these, Wedo, STONECISTLE HOME LOANS People Assisting The Homeless PATH/Foundation House is a homeless empowerment agency, dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness. Items Needed: Vacuum Cleaners Computers Blankets Silverware Canned Goods 2346 Cotner Avenue (2 blks west of Sepulveda between Olympic & Pico) 8 a.m.-6p.m, weekdays Weekend dropoffs are okay too. 310-996-0034 j 14 Beverly Hills Weekly