Oscars go digital? Electronic voting planned for 2013 Academy Awards


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The Oscars are going digital: After years of deliberating whether the security concerns of voting online outweigh the convenience factor, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has decided to move forward with a plan to develop an electronic voting system for the 2013 Academy Awards.

After an 18-month search, the motion picture academy, in conjunction with accounting firm PwC, will partner with Everyone Counts Inc., an election administration and computer security firm that works with the U.S. Department of Defense and Britain’s Ministry of Justice, among others, to build the system.


‘This is the first of many steps that we’ll be taking toward developing a secure and convenient electronic voting system, beginning with next year’s ballot,’ said Ric Robertson, the Academy’s chief operating officer, in a statement. ‘We’re excited to have found great partners in the people who do this best.’

Last year, the Academy began collecting email addresses from its 5,783 members to start the migration to online voting.

In addition to creating the electronic voting system, Everyone Counts also will administer a rigorous security and user-acceptance testing process. Lori Steele, chairman and CEO of Everyone Counts Inc., said in a statement: ‘Our company was founded to set a new standard of security, accessibility, and transparency in elections. We’re proud to be working with the Academy.’

The Academy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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--Nicole Sperling