Oscar nominations: Ballots online and in the mail

On Wednesday (December 30), the motion picture academy turned on the website that allows its 6,261 members to complete their nomination ballots online. And it put paper ballots into the post earlier this week for those members who requested to fill them in by hand. Either way, the ballot covers 15 of the 24 competitive categories; the others require attendance at screenings and/or presentations. Academy members have until 5 p.m. PT on January 8 to complete the process. 

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All members can pick up to five films for Best Picture and also nominate contenders in those races covered by their respective branches. 

The Best Picture nominees are determined by a complicated counting method which we explained in detail here. The contenders in acting, directing, writing and the craft categories (except makeup/hairstyling and visual effects) will be selected under the preferental system that has been in place for years and is described here. All nominees will be announced on January 14 at 5:35 a.m. PT. 

While the Oscars celebrate the achievements of individuals, only the acting branch is required to specify the names and films of the performers that merit nominations. They must also designate whether they consider the performance to be lead or supporting. Otherwise, members simply fill in the names of the films and the eventual nominees will be matched up with those titles.  

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Below, the complete timetable for Oscar voting. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Nominations voting begins 8 a.m. PT

Friday, January 8, 2016
Nominations voting ends 5 p.m. PT

Thursday, January 14, 2016
Oscar nominations announced at 5:35 a.m. PT

Monday, February 8, 2016
Oscar Nominees Luncheon

Friday, February 12, 2016
Final voting begins 8 a.m. PT

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Scientific and Technical Awards

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Final voting ends 5 p.m. PT

Oscar Sunday, February 28, 2016
88th Academy Awards begins 4 p.m. PT

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What do you think the academy members will nominate for Best Picture?  Make your Oscar predictions beginning with this category to the right or at the bottom of this post.

You'll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.

Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

 Photo credit: AMPAS

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