The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended the deadline for members to vote for Oscar nominations by one day to 5 PM on Friday, January 4. (The original date was Thursday, January 3, 5 p.m. PT). Members may vote online or via a paper ballot — but 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,” Academy COO Ric Robertson said in a release. “We’re grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process.”
The Academy said its online voting system will only close for two hours – from 5-7 PM PST on Thursday, Jan. 3- and will stay open until 5 PM PST on Jan. 5. It’s the first year that Academy members can vote online, and members have reported problems. The Academy’s announcement appears to acknowledge those problems. As THR reported last week, many members who opted to vote online have been unable to log in to the voting website with the special password that they had been asked to create, prompting them to contact the Academy’s 24-hour voting helpline.
The Academy then either sent them a new password (which required an additional waiting period before it took effect because the password database only updates twice a day) or, upon request, a paper ballot (which also takes time to arrive even when sent via Fed-Ex).
This deadline extension will prove helpful for members who return from vacation, attempt to vote on Jan. 2, and experience problems with online voting that jeopardize their ability to submit a ballot before Jan. 3. The additional day would, theoretically, allow the Academy to Fed-Ex them a paper ballot that would arrive on Jan. 3, which could be mailed back to Price-Waterhouse-Cooper that same day and arrive before the new cut-off on Jan. 4.