Oscar nomination voting extended after online hitches

Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:20pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Voting for Oscar nominations was extended by a day after some people reported problems with a new online voting system, organizers of the movie industry's coveted awards said Monday.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said the deadline for its 6,000 members to vote on nominations for the year's best films, performances, directors, screenplay and other achievements would be extended to Friday, January 4 - 24 hours after the original January 3 deadline.

"By extending the voting deadline we are providing every opportunity available to make the transition to online balloting as smooth as possible," Ric Robertson, chief operating officer of the academy, said in a statement.

"We're grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process," Robertson added.

Nominations for the 2013 Oscars will be announced on January 10, setting off weeks of speculation and campaigning by movie studios and industry pundits before the winners are announced in Hollywood on February 24.

The academy is using electronic balloting this year for the first time in its 85-year history but has also said any member can submit a paper ballot if preferred.

Monday's announcement follows reports of frustration on the part of some members in logging into the new online system, as well as some slowness in ballots being returned by both the new or old method.

A source close to the Academy acknowledged that some members had experienced problems with forgotten passwords or user names and that the extended deadline would help in resolving those issues in this first year.   Continued...