Don’t say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday that it will begin using an “electronic voting system” starting with the 85th Academy Awards in 2013. Up until this announcement, the Academy has always collected ballots by mail. Those ballots were then counted by hand by a small team of PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants.
But now the Academy will team with the firm Everyone Counts to develop an online voting system for next year’s Oscars. Over the next year, the Academy will “undertake a rigorous security and user-acceptance testing process.” A chief concern will be ensuring that the system cannot be compromised by hackers. PricewaterhouseCoopers will still be responsible for ultimately tabulating and verifying the results.
The move to online will help speed up the voting process for the Oscars. The Academy is rumored to be thinking about moving the ceremony a month earlier to late January, and a swifter voting system would make that change easier to execute.
The electronic voting system will be used to determine both the nominations and the winners, an Academy rep confirmed to EW.