The new online voting system for The Oscars has been hampered by reports of difficulties in accessing the online balloting program and fears that the system may have been hacked.
Concerns that the turn-out for this year’s vote could be at an all-time low, an extension has been placed on the voting deadline, just for one day. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences voters now have until Friday (January 4, 2013) to place their votes, according to Associated Press.
The Academy’s chief operating office, Ric Robertson, said in a statement “By extending the voting deadline we are providing every opportunity available to make the transition to online balloting as smooth as possible. We’re grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process.” The documentary director Morgan Spurlock tweeted about his own difficulties in accessing the site, saying “The password they sent didn’t work for my log-in — and they couldn’t email me a new log-in, only snail mail.” However, the Academy has defended itself from criticisms saying they have made several other voting resources available, including assisted voting stations in New York Los Angeles and London, as well as providing a 24 hour helpline.
The integrity of their new voting system, though, has still been called into question. Scott Feinberg of the Hollywood Reporter, said “There’s considerable concern from many members that voter participation will be at record lows this year because the people who wanted to take a chance on this new cutting-edge system are either giving up on it or worried they won’t be able to cast their votes.” The nominations of this year’s Oscar nominees will be announced on January 10.