Oscar online voting has paper chase

Electronic ballots require ID number sent via snail mail

Although AMPAS is introducing electronic voting for the Oscars this year, an element of the security procedures essentially requires the use of conventional mail for all participants.

Before they can complete the online voting process (which begins Monday and runs through Jan. 3), eligible voters must first receive a voter identification number that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences said will be sent through regular mail.

As a result, the Jan. 2 deadline for registering to vote online would seem to be somewhat problematic — especially if the member plans to be out of town while voting — because it it involves receiving the VIN by the nominations deadline itself, which comes the next day. The VIN is a security element similar to the personal ID number sent through the mail by a bank for use with an automated teller machine.

However, the Academy said that online voters registering near the deadline would be able to call the Academy’s 24-hour online-voting support hotline and get their VIN over the phone.

The Academy has been increasing efforts to ensure that electronic voting for the Oscars leaves no eligible voters disenfranchised. Having already extended the deadline for requesting a paper ballot, AMPAS confirmed today it will send a paper ballot to every member whose dues are paid but has not registered to make selections online.

Although today was the deadline to request a paper ballot, the Academy made the move amid concerns that pockets of voters were unaware of the cutoff date. That decision was first reported on Deadline.

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