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Oscars statuettes are lined up in a local souvenir shop. The 86th Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 2, 2014
Voting for Oscar nominations opened on Friday, giving members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 289 films to consider for Best Picture.
Members have a choice between voting by mail or online. Mailed ballots were due to arrive to members by Friday and must be returned to PricewaterhouseCoopers by Wednesday, January 8th. Online votes for nominations are also due on January 8th.
The Academy introduced the online voting system last year and Mitchell Block suspects most of his fellow members will use it this time.
"The academy has put in a terrific system that makes voting very safe and auditable, and I think it’s just wonderful so that Academy members everywhere in the world can participate," Block told KPCC.
Block is a member of the Academy's short film and animation branch and serves on the nomination committee for documentaries. His documentary Poster Girl was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award, but his interest in the safety of the Oscars online balloting system stems from producing a documentary called Stealing America: Vote by Vote.
"When you vote in a presidential election using a computer, most of the time there isn't a paper trail, because the vote is electronic so it can be hacked," said Block. "The Academy voting is, I think, hack-proof."
Out of the 289 films eligible for the Best Picture Oscar, Academy member must pick ten and rank them. The Academy provides a "reminder list" of the 289 films to make that process easier.
Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 16.