BEST PICTURE BALLOT published the above picture of the Best Picture ballot along with the instructions. Many of the voters are confused because there are only 5 spaces when actually there could be up to 10 Best Picture nominees. Some thought that the ballot was a misprinted. But the current ‘preferential’ voting system rewards films that appear highly on the most ballots, not films that just appear in any order on the most ballots. They are trying to get them to vote for only the movies they loved, not just what they liked.

Here are the instructions that were sent out:

Dear Academy Member:

The attached is a ballot by which the nominees for this year’s Best Picture of the Year Award will be made. This year there will be no more than ten nor fewer than five nominees for Best Picture.

Before marking your ballot, please refer to the Reminder List which contains the titles of all pictures released during the past year which qualify under the awards rules. Every title listed is eligible for the Best Picture Award.

Marking Your Ballot When you have reviewed the Reminder List, please write the title of your first choice on the first line of this ballot and list your alternate choices on the succeeding lines in order of your preference. Do not list the same title more than once; multiple votes for the same picture do not enhance its chances. The pictures receiving the highest number of votes shall become the nominees for final voting for the Best Picture award. There may not be more than ten nor fewer than five nominations; however, no picture shall be nominated that receives less than five percent of the total votes cast. The preferential system of tabulation is used in nominations voting. You are voting essentially for one achievement, and the preferential system insures that your vote will be cast — in order of your listed preferences — for the candidate for whom it can do the most good. (If, for example, the achievement on the top line of your ballot receives almost no support from other votes, you have not “wasted” your vote. The system moves on and casts your vote for your second listed achievement, and so on.)

You need not fill in all five lines. The more preferences you indicate, however, the greater the certainty that your ballot will influence the Best Picture nominees list.

When you have marked this ballot, please return it to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in the enclosed, self-addressed GREEN envelope early enough to be received by them before the deadline, 5:00 pm,  Friday, January 13, 2012.

Ballots received after that time cannot be counted.


Tom Sherak

It’s just that simple!


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