Oscar Voting Period Extended For Academy Awards 2013 In Response To Online Voting Issues

 
on January 02 2013 11:27 AM

Movie buffs might have to wait longer than usual to get the list of nominees for the 2013 Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has granted voters for the prestigious film awards an extra day to enter their ballots.

The polls ranking the best in cinema for the past year were originally set to close on Thursday, but have been extended by 24 hours, to 5 p.m. on Jan. 4. The extension comes after some Academy members expressed concerns about a new online voting system.

“By extending the voting deadline we are providing every opportunity available to make the transition to online balloting as smooth as possible,” Ric Robertson, chief operation officer of the Academy, said in a statement, cited by Entertainment Weekly. “We’re grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process.”

The nominees are to be announced on Jan. 10, and the winners will be announced at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 24.

This year marks the first time the Academy has used the online voting system; reports of difficulty accessing the system and fears that it could be hacked have raised questions about balloting.

Entertainment Weekly said director Morgan Spurlock, 42,  the documentary filmmaker whose 2004 film "Super Size Me" was nominated for best documentary, vented on Twitter  about certain log-in problems.

"The password they sent didn't work for my log-in — and they couldn't email me a new log-in, only snail mail," Spurlock tweeted.

The Los Angeles Times  said 54 percent of Academy voters are over 60-years old and may not be comfortable voting online.

Scott Feinberg, an awards analyst and blogger for the Hollywood Reporter, speculated that voter turnout could be smaller than usual this year, due to the new voting system, NPR said.

"There's considerable concern from many members that voter participation will be at record lows this year because the people who wanted to take a chance on this new cutting-edge system are either giving up on it or worried they won't be able to cast their votes," NPR quoted Feinberg as saying.

The new voting system was developed by the Academy’s longtime accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers and Everyone Counts Inc., an electronic voting firm. Voters aren’t required to use the Internet-based voting system; the traditional mailed-in paper ballot remains an option. 

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