The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is giving voters one more day to submit their choices for Oscar nominations, extending the deadline for ballots to Friday at 5 p.m. The extension is an effort to give voters 24 more hours to work with the academy’s new electronic voting system.
“By extending the voting deadline we are providing every opportunity available to make the transition to online balloting as smooth as possible,” said Ric Robertson, the academy’s chief operating officer. “We’re grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process.”
Anecdotal reports of voter confusion over the online voting system have sprouted up, with most complaints centering on the cumbersome registration process that’s been adopted to help ensure the system is secure. For less technology-savvy voters, the process has proven to be confusing.
According to a study conducted by the Los Angeles Times earlier this year, the median age of the academy is 62 -- and only 14% of the constituency is younger than 50 -- so a significant number of the approximately 6,000 eligible voters may be struggling with the system.
To ease the transition, the academy is providing members with a 24-hour call center to help with the process in addition to offering assisted voting stations in Los Angeles, New York and London. Also, paper balloting is still available to anyone who prefers to vote the old-fashioned way.
Voters also appear to be struggling with this season’s early nomination deadline. The academy moved the nomination deadline two weeks earlier than it has usually been, giving voters only a few days following the Christmas holiday break to submit their nominations.
Nominations will be announced on Jan. 10, and the Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 24.