Forms really are in the mail

Three days after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences sent out replacement ballots to European voters, the forms are being returned to the London office of PricewaterhouseCoopers “at a healthy rate,” the Acad reported Thursday.

“Members have been reporting receipt of at least one ballot and in many cases both,” said Acad executive administrator Ric Robertson. PWC has controls in place to assure that only one ballot will be counted, Robertson noted.

Robertson said the original ballots “are finally being delivered,” along with the replacements sent by courier from the U.S. Monday and delivered throughout Europe Tuesday and Wednesday.

The extension of the deadline for the European ballots to 5 p.m. Tuesday will remain in place, Robertson said.

The Academy does not know the cause of the delay in delivery of the original mailed ballots. “They left the U.S. on Monday, Dec. 29, but weren’t delivered until over two weeks later. We don’t know why. But we certainly are happy to be assured that those votes will be included in the tally for this year’s nominations.”

When the story was first reported in Daily Variety Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Service maintained it delivered the ballots on time.

Britain’s Royal Mail this week responded: “From the number of ballot papers involved, it sounds as though a whole bag of mail has been delayed. … It is impossible to tell at what point in the journey from the Academy in Los Angeles to arriving on the doormats in the U.K. that the ballot papers have been delayed. It is possible that the missing items are still in the USA.”

The Royal Mail added it would be more than happy to investigate the problem if the U.S. Postal Service could furnish it with flight numbers.

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