The 2016 Emmy Awards is upon us. After announcing the winners for the Creative Arts on Saturday and Sunday night (Sept. 10 and 11), the academy will announce the main Primetime winners on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET or 5 p.m. PT on ABC.

Unlike People’s Choice Awards, the winners for the Emmys are decided by the Television academy. So, how does the voting process take place. Here’s a low-down:

Peer Groups

Before we explain the process, it’s important to know what are peer group since they play an important role in the entire process. A peer group comprises of a group of artists in the same field of expertise. So there is a writer peer group that is made up of only writers, then there is a actor peer groups made of actors, a director peer group made of directors and so and so forth.

The TV academy consist of more than 18,000 people, according to TVGuide. All members of this academy and eligible to be part of a peer group. Each peer group is assigned a specific category to cast their votes in and they cannot cast their vote in another category. For example, a writer peer group can’t vote for a winner in the Outstanding Choreography category.

Casting Votes For Nominees

This year, the voting period for nominations was from June 13 to June 27. The voting process for this isn’t confusing. All members of the TV Academy simply cast their votes in each category and the top five (or six depending on the category) receivers of the votes are announced as the nominees.

Furthermore, members of the TV academy as eligible to be part of several peer groups. For example, Tina Fey is a member of the writing and acting peer group since she is a writer and actor.


However, for general TV show categories such as Outstand Drama Series, all members of the academy can vote regardless of what peer group they are in.

Casting Votes For Winners

After the nominees are revealed, each nominee must send their best episodes of the past season. Networks and producers must send the best six episodes from the past season for general categories such as Outstanding drama series.

All voters then watch the tapes of the best performances. All these tapes and episodes are now available for streaming online on the Emmys website. This increases voter participation.

Voting for winners took place from Aug. 15 to Aug. 29 this year. The name of the winners or the TV show that bagged the award are kept in sealed envelopes until the presenters actually carry them out on stage, according to HowStuffWorks. And that’s how it’s done.

The 2016 Emmy awards live on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET or 5 p.m. PT on ABC.