Balloting begins Monday for Oscar nominations and, for the first time, voters can cast their ballots online. However, the Acad’s security procedures essentially require the use of conventional mail for all participants.

Before they can complete the online voting process (which runs through Jan. 3), eligible voters must first receive a voter identification number that will be sent through regular mail.

As a result, the Jan. 2 deadline for registering to vote online would seem somewhat problematic — especially if the member plans to be out of town while voting — because it involves receiving the VIN by the nominations deadline itself, which comes the next day. However, the Academy said that online voters registering near the deadline would be able to call the Acad’s 24-hour online-voting support hotline and get their VIN over the phone.

AMPAS has officially sanctioned 282 features as eligible for the 2012 Academy Awards. Full list is available at Oscars.org/awards/academyawards/rules/reminderlist.html.

To be eligible for 85th Academy Awards consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight on Dec. 31 and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days.

Under Acad rules, a feature-length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes and must have been exhibited theatrically on 35mm or 70mm film or in a qualifying digital format.

The Acad also has unveiled a shortlist of seven films for the makeup and hairstyling Oscar: “Hitchcock,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Les Miserables,” “Lincoln,” “Looper,” “Men in Black 3” and “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

On Jan. 5, all members of the Acad’s makeup artists and hairstylists branch are invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films. Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.