Voting Problems? Don’t Believe the White Noise

Chicken Little 3[1]

The Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, if you’ve ever had any dealings with them, are a well oiled machine. I have never, in fact, dealt with a more cleanly run, professionally managed company. Never, in my life.  When I attended the Oscars as a press person every tiny detail was covered, top to bottom, A to Z.  So I read with great interest the “sky is falling” stories about voter problems with online ballots. So I went ahead and called the Academy. You have the option of immediately reaching a guy who very nicely answered the phone. He told me that he was there to field calls from any member with a problem. Moreover, they have a whole call center set up just to deal with voter issues. Trust me, these guys you could trust to deliver Kate Middleton’s royal charge.  So, don’t worry, votes are well in hand. Members can simply make a phone call and have tech support help them through it.

Academy Members out in Force, Freely Endorsing Movies and Contenders with Ballots Outstanding

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Academy Extends Ballot Deadline by One Day


  1. December 28, 2012

    So we all agree though that old people won’t be able to work their computers right? So what if they can’t work their phones? What if there are spies at the call center? What if hackers change everyone’s ballot to say HACKERS, that crappy movie from when Angelina Jolie still had a pudgy face? What then?!!!!!

  2. December 28, 2012

    Voting problems? Vote for The Master. :)

  3. Sasha Stone
    December 28, 2012

    It’s really irritating that a couple of websites, one in particular, has dubbed itself the official spokesperson for the Oscars. When in fact you can simply call the Academy yourself and get answers. The call centers and Academy have been working diligently to make sure everything goes smoothly and you should seem them in action. Believe it. This stuff is being cooked up for hits and nothing more. Sad to see it picked up elsewhere.

  4. GL
    December 28, 2012

    But you know Scott just loves to speak for the Academy Sasha. Just because he knows X amount of members he all of a sudden decided that every member thinks the same and are all elderly which in his head equals technologically inept!

  5. December 28, 2012

    But they are, Blanche, they are.

    People who are truly challenged by computers know it. I.E., they don’t even own one. So THOSE people have all asked for paper ballots and gotten them, and mailed them in as soon as they get them, as of yore.

    Others who have chosen the online method, even the smartest, most tech savvy ones have all repeated to me variations on Scott’s article, if that is indeed what we’re talking about.

    So yes, it’s accurate. So there are three categories, as I see it
    1) The ones who chose snail more(read, the oldest, most conservative voters)
    2)Those who perserved with the internet problems
    3)Those who gave up, because of the internet snafus…

    So I guess you could sort of postulate that the older members who chose the time honored way of mailing their ballots in might be even the majority this time.

    This helps STUDIO film front-runners. Like “Les Miz” and “Lincoln” and “Argo” and “Life of Pi”I would think. But the Indies….this hurts them big time. I hope not. But if none turn up in BP this is what has happened. Also, the shortened nomination period(insane choice, IMHO) hurts Indies the most. Sadly.

    Keep your eyes on Pete Hammond. I always feel he is very plugged into the race on an hourly basis and he’s got “Les Miz” as his first choice and is not even discussing “Beasts” or “Moonrise” in his latest podcast. AND Oscar God Dave Karger, who also still has “Les Miz” at Number One.

  6. December 28, 2012

    I read the Hollywood Reporter and Deadline articles. This adds a new twist.

  7. JP
    December 28, 2012

    There are no Oscar Gods. Karger is very good. And it’s very good to hear his thoughts on the race but… he predicted a 5 lineup last year. If he was a God, he would not have made a totally wrong assumption about the change on the best picture nomination rules. The truth is that there are no Gods here.

  8. rufussondheim
    December 28, 2012

    Being able to predict how many films get a BP nom is an impossibility. There is no way to do it short of taking a representative poll of Academy members. And to get a large enough sample so the margin of error is small enough, well, at that point you’d likely have to get the response of every single voter.

    Karger is amazing. I wonder if he will be able to duplicate his past successes now that he’s not affiliated with Entertainment Weekly. Although the new Entertainment Weekly guy (Anthony Breznican) has practically gone all in with his pushing for The Impossible.

  9. December 28, 2012

    You guys should try guessing. I guessed 9 movies last year and I was right. It was the only thing I got right, but still. :)

  10. December 28, 2012

    I also went with nine. Not sure why. But was off on my last two guesses: Bridesmaids and Ides of March instead of Tree of Life and Extremely Loud.

  11. steve50
    December 29, 2012

    Don’t know what all the fuss is about. I’m a geezer and I voted three times (“press 1 for Madea; press 2 for John Carter, press 3 for…”). Easy! And I’m not even a member!

    *there, that should get someone scrambling*

  12. Diego
    December 29, 2012

    Karger is no god. Absolutely not.

    He predicted Clooney and Davis to win this past season. Even have their pic on EW cover heralding the same.

    Oh, well….

  13. the ghost of easter
    December 29, 2012

    @Stephen Holt, just out of curiousity… wouldn’t the younger members of the academy be in the majority this season (because they have more experience with computers, internet and online-voting)… which would lead to less safe and more daring choices… I thought that I read somewere that a lot of older voters were unaware that they had to seperatly request the paper-ballots…

  14. JP
    December 29, 2012

    Predicting Moneyball would get a BP nomination was a lot easier than predicting The Kings Speech would prevail at the Oscars after TSN swept the critics and took the Globes. Again… No Gods here.

  15. December 29, 2012

    Here’s the safest way to vote.

    If you’re voting for LES MISERABLES, the best thing to do is to wait until you’re back from Christmas vacation to register online to vote. This way here, all the kinks will probably be worked out of the system by then. So sit back relax, listen to some Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan while you wait. Everything will be fine. Rome wasn’t built in a day, etc. etc.

    Everyone else, vote right now. Make sure you get it right. If there are any problems at all call the call center immediately. Check with all your friends to make sure they voted. Not all of them, just the ones with taste.

  16. December 29, 2012

    Thank you, Sasha, for this piece of rationality among all the sky is falling articles I’ve seen on other sites. I don’t doubt that some people may have had problems (I’m way under 60 and still have computer problems every once in a while), but as I read the other sites I kept wondering about the Academy’s efficiency and their desire to make right whatever problems may arise.

    If the problems were really as widespread as the other sites make them sound, then surely the Academy would be sending urgent letters to their members telling them they can come vote in person or making some over the top gesture to extend voting at the last minute. And I mean something above and beyond all the steps they’ve already taken with paper ballots and call centers and such.

    It is also interesting to me that many of the people who complain that the Academy is too old are now complaining that not enough old voters will get to vote. If they really believe that online voting is a failure, then shouldn’t those critics be celebrating the fact that they’ll finally get a “more balanced” voting demographic? Or even praising the Academy for concocting a brilliant scheme to make that happen?

    But, as you say, that probably wouldn’t get them as many page hits.

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