How Oscar votes are counted

Preferential voting can produce an Oscar winner that may not receive the highest number of first-place votes.

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1. Eight films are up for best picture this year.

2. A voter ranks the eight films in order of preference and submits the ballot.

3. The No. 1 picks from all voters are tabulated. A film needs more than half the votes to win.

4. If there is no winner, the nominee with the fewest votes is thrown out. Those ballots are then given to the remaining nominees according to the voters' No. 2 choice.

5. The process repeats, eliminating nominees and giving votes to the next highest-ranked film on each ballot.

When a film obtains more than 50% of the votes, the winner is decided.

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Source: Times reporting