The 2014 Academy Awards will mark the 80th year that esteemed professional services firm Price Waterhouse Cooper will have handled the task of tabulating Oscar winners. It is a most unique and perhaps odd job the firm has been handling since 1934. The practice of handing out Oscars began in 1929.
Price Waterhouse Cooper has a two-fold objective in this job and that is to both accurately count all ballots and maintain absolute secrecy in the vote tabulation process. The firm takes that responsibility seriously. Bob Hope, long known as the “King of Comedy”, once quipped that the firm was so secretive about the ballot counting process that once the results are obtained they shoot the secretaries.
However, in all candor, the firm takes the tabulation process very seriously. Ballots are counted for the various categories of awards by an elite group of employees who head the ballot counting team. Only members of the team are made aware of the ballot counting site. They work inside a sealed vault over a three-day period. No one but the team members may enter. The votes for the most popular categories such as “Best Actress” and “Best Picture” are not counted until 24-48 hours before show time.