The Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences are taking the plunge into online voting, setting up a two-year plan in which members can vote on digitally beginning with the upcoming 66th Primetime Emmy Awards season. The decision comes a year after the Oscars’ voting body the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began offering online voting — to mixed results.
The Emmy plan calls for a two-year rollout of online voting for the Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2014, online voting will be employed only for the first round of Emmy voting to determine the nominees across all categories. In 2015, online voting will be extended to all rounds of of the voting process, determining nominees and winners in all categories. The TV Academy has contracted with San Diego-based Everyone Counts — also the company contracted by the Oscars — to oversee the transition. We’re hearing that as part of the run-up to the decision that the TV Academy and Movie Academy met to discuss the online process, and the Oscar org cooperated fully.
“This is the first in a series of new initiatives for the Academy that will be rolling out over the coming months,” ATAS Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum said in announcing the move. “We refine the Emmy Awards process every year, and this migration to an all-digital, online voting procedure will ensure that voting is easy, private and secure. This is all part of our ongoing mission to activate greater member engagement, to inspire and help our members develop their professional potential, and to bring new and long-established voices within the television community together to continue to chart a bold path for our industry.”
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The TV Academy said a recent survey of voting members showed 70% indicated they would prefer to vote digitally and online. But as part of the transition to all-digital voting, paper ballots will be provided for members who who wish to opt out of the online option.
Paper or digital was part of the plan for Oscars voting last year. But that path wasn’t smooth: Some voters found that the Academy’s security steps, necessary to avoid hackers, also kept voters out — forcing them to make repeated attempts at completing their ballots. AMPAS has since “upgraded and simplified” its process and expects better results going forward, saying despite the hiccups that voter turnout last year was the highest in history.