Did the Academy just take its first step towards a shorter Oscar season? Members of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences have just received a letter announcing that AMPAS will soon replace its paper ballots with online voting. The letter, which was first reported by the New York Times, reads in part: “The change may be implemented as early as this year, and will certainly be in effect by next year. At some point, once the system is up and working, mailed ballots will be eliminated.”
For a few years, the Academy has toyed with the idea of moving the Oscars ceremony earlier in the year; this is certainly one way it can accomplish that goal. It won’t happen this year — the 2012 telecast is already set for Feb. 26. But getting rid of the time-consuming paper-ballot vote counting process could allow the Academy to move 2013’s telecast a few weeks earlier, which would be a welcome change for those who think the entire season drags on a bit too long.