The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is poised to deal with whatever glitches arise as their 5,856 voting members deal with the new voting procedures. They are supposed to have registered by now in order to vote for the first time online or ask for paper ballots, but of course many have not done so and are patiently waiting for their ballots to arrive. If they don't, they will call the Academy, and personnel at a support center are ready 24/7 during voting periods, they promise, to walk them through getting online or sending them a paper ballot. "No one will be deprived of the ability to vote," one Academy rep assured me. They can also go to the Academy on Wilshire Boulevard or at their offices in New York City and London to vote in a kiosk (or voting station) with someone there to assist them.
This year's ballot will feature five spots for best picture, rather than ten; the number of movies getting top votes will determine whether there will be from five to ten final best picture nominees. In any case, nominations voting for the 85th Academy Awards will open at 8 a.m. PT, Monday, December 17. The deadline to vote electronically or mail in a paper ballot has also been moved up to 5 p.m. PT on January 3, which is much earlier than usual. In that scenario, as before, voters had better get them in on time or they won't be counted.
Nominations and final Awards ballots will be tabulated and verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), reports the Academy, "to ensure that all aspects of the balloting process are accurate and secure."
The nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater and the Oscar awards show will air on ABC and worldwide on February 24 from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland.