Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will have one more day to cast their votes for the 85th annual Academy Awards. The voting deadline was originally set to close on Thursday, January 3 at 5 P.M. PT, but it now stay open until Friday, January 4 at 5 P.M. PT.
The extension is made after the Academy noticed many of its members had problem with the online voting system that only began to be applied this year. According to a study by LA Times, the online hitches may have happened because more than a half of voters were 50 years older.
Partnering with electronic voting firm Everyone Counts Inc., the Academy asks members to log in to the voting website with the special password they have been asked to create. For less technology-savvy voters, however, the process that helps ensure security has proven to be confusing.
"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 explains the change in a press release. "We're grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process."
In order to accommodate the deadline change and help ensure the system is secure, the online voting system will temporarily be closed for two hours (5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.) on Thursday, January 3 before it will re-open at 7 P.M. on January 3 and remain available until 5:00 P.M. January 4.
The extension also gives more time for those who just returned from Christmas and New Year vacations to cast their votes before the deadline. The year, nomination deadline is moved two weeks earlier than its usual date, giving voters only a few days after holiday season to submit their choices.
In addition to allowing members to vote online for the first time, the Academy still makes available paper balloting to anyone who prefers to send their picks the old-fashioned way. A 24-hour call center is provided to offer assistance at the voting stations in Los Angeles, New York and London.
Nominations for the upcoming Oscars will be announced on January 10, and the winners will be revealed at the live telecast of the Academy Awards on February 24. "Family Guy" actor Seth MacFarlane will host the event live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.