The deadline was extended in order to assure the transition to online balloting is as smooth as possible
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended the deadline for members to vote for Oscar nominations by one day to Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 5.p.m. PT.
The original date was Thursday, Jan. 3, at 5 p.m. PT. Members may vote online or submit a paper ballot. Any votes received after the deadline will not be counted.
“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, Academy COO. “We’re grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process.”
The move was the latest in a series of changes instituted by the Academy in the last few weeks, amid reports that members were having trouble adjusting to the transition to online voting.
First, in late November, the deadline to request paper ballots was pushed back two weeks. Then that later deadline was made irrelevant when the Academy decided to send ballots to every member who hadn't signed up for online voting, regardless of whether he or she had requested a paper ballot.
In the past week, a number of members complained that the security-heavy online voting system, which requires a different password than the one required to access the AMPAS members site, was proving difficult to use.
Combined with the Jan. 3 deadline, by far the earliest Oscar ballots had ever been due, the confusion over online voting had the potential to significantly supress the level of voter participation. Extending the deadline by one day does not materially change the time crunch, but it does give members an additional 24 hours during a week when many may still be returning from vacation.
Beyond the new online process, which has only begun this year, assisted voting stations in Los Angeles, New York and London are open to members, as well as a 24-hour support call center.
For security purposes, the online voting system will be closed between 5 and 7 p.m. PT on Thursday, Jan. 3. Upon reopening, the system will remain active until the extended deadline.
As usual, the nominations will be tabulated and verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers before they are announced live on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.