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Academy moves toward electronic voting for Oscars

May 23, 2011 |  1:33 pm

Oscar-voting-electric1

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has officially begun its shift toward electronic voting for the Oscars.

The academy has sent a letter to voting members asking them for their personal email addresses as Step 1 in its effort to eliminate paper ballots. The news was first reported by Deadline and confirmed by the L.A. Times.

The letter says that a new electronic voting system could be implemented as early as this year and definitely will be in effect by 2012. The academy didn't immediately return a request for comment, but the letter seems to imply that electronic voting could be in effect for the 2012 Academy Awards and definitely will be implemented by the 2013 show. The letter states, "At some point once the system is up and working, mailed ballots will be eliminated."

The academy is requesting the personal emails of all its members, not an address that reaches a member through "an assistant or other intermediary." That may prove problematic for some of the older members who don't use email or even some studio heads who remain reluctant to adopt the widespread technology.

The academy has long said that one of the impediments to moving its show earlier in the calendar year has been the lengthy balloting process. Should a secure electronic system be devised, the academy would be more likely to get ahead of the other award shows that honor the best films of the year.

-- Nicole Sperling

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Photo: Mo'Nique and Academy President Tom Sherak announce the nominations for the 2011 Academy Awards in January 2011. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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