Oscar ballots now online and in the mail
Online voting for Oscar nominations kicks off Monday morning (Dec. 17) at 8 a.m. PT and runs till Jan. 3 at 5 p.m. PT. This marks the first time that the academy has used electronic voting in the 85-year history of the Oscars.
To ensure that all of the 5,856 voting members (73 more than last year) have their say, paper ballots are being sent to everyone who did not register for this new method of voting.
Either way, the ballot covers 15 of the 24 competitive categories; the others require attendance at screenings and/or presentations.
All Academy 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 will be determined by a separate system of tabulation that streamlines the process. Nominees in the other races will be arrived at via the traditional system of preferential ballot that winnows down the pool to a final five. All nominees will be announced on Jan. 10, three days before the Golden Globes.
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.