Here in the desert as the Palm Springs International Film Festival is ready for its annual gala tonight which will be honoring many Oscar hopefuls from Sally Field, Helen Mirren, Helen Hunt, Tom Hooper, Bradley Cooper, Naomi Watts and the cast of Argo among others, the real talk is about the process of actually trying to vote for those nominations. Despite Herculean efforts on the part of the Academy to make the move to online voting work smoothly for its members, not everything was going nearly as well as hoped, even as some high profile members tried to submit ballots in the final hours of voting Friday afternoon.
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“I’m absolutely furious about this,” one industry mover and shaker phoned us to say shortly after 3 PM (with just two hours to go in the extended voting period) to ask what he could do after submitting his Academy-supplied password but being “locked out”. He did call the 24/7 Academy help support line but says he was put on hold for 20 minutes only to be told that his password couldn’t be reset after 12 noon and it was too late. “In none of the material I was sent about the online voting procedures did it ever say anything about a noon deadline to reset a password. And I’m not a newcomer when it comes to the internet. The person on the line told me ‘I … Read More »
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ brave new steps into electronic voting for Oscars after 84 years of the snail mail routine is proceeding well. Most members seem to be getting the message that they must register to vote, as well as pay dues, before they will be eligible when balloting officially begins on December 17th and runs through January 3rd. That is 10 days earlier than last year and smack in the middle of the holiday season so naturally the Academy was a little nervous when they decided to launch this process four months ago. But I’m told things are going smoothly and they have their fingers crossed it will continue that way. “The response has been really favorable. We are very encouraged,” Academy COO Ric Robertson told me this afternoon, adding that most members are going for the electronic voting option but that there have been a “small number” of requests so far for the old fashioned paper ballots. One member though who is working on a major Best Picture contender told me they have heard from numerous other members saying they were requesting a paper ballot (“although they were all 60 and above”). The Academy will provide paper ballots as long as Oscar voters make that request by this Friday November 30. If members desiring traditional paper ballots have not registered to vote and made their request by Friday, they will not be able to participate using that method. Think of it as registering to vote for President. After the cut-off date you’re out of luck. Electronic voting registration however will remain open throughout the entire process ending on January 3rd so there’s another clear advantage for the onliners. Read More »