HR Strange But True!
November 01, 2001

In the contest between actresses Melissa Gilbert and Valerie Harper for presidency of the Screen Actors Guild, the winner is...

We'll have to get back to you on that one.

The union had planned to announce election results Friday, but Daily Variety reports that discrepancies have emerged in the handling of ballots, making a challenge from whoever loses just about guaranteed.

SAG's staff has downplayed the situation as a ``non-issue'' and blamed poll administrator Sequoia Voting Systems for the decision to send out 24,000 New York ballots without signature lines on the return envelopes or instructions to sign, unlike the other 74,000 ballots. The union's staff also has insisted that unsigned ballots are valid.

Robin Johnson, Sequoia's manager of nongovernmental services, told Daily Variety on Wednesday that he decided to send out New York ballots without signature lines on the envelopes or signature instructions. He also disclosed that SAG staff had covered up the discrepancies for more than two weeks, until responding to inquiries late Tuesday.

Johnson said no one on SAG's staff questioned why the signature line and instructions had been removed when they approved proofs of the New York ballot packets, which were then mailed Oct. 12. "The absence of the signature line wasn't something I would expect them to notice," Johnson added.

Source: Daily Variety

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