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Oscars' best picture race to factor in rankings

Adding yet another wrinkle to next year's Academy Awards, Oscar organizers plan to use a preferential voting system in tallying the final vote for best picture, where 10 nominees will be competing for the first time since 1943.

In all other categories, the win goes to the nominee who earns the most votes. But in the case of best picture, voters will be asked to rank their preference from 1 to 10, with 1 being best. It's the same preferential voting system that the Academy uses in its nominating process -- and that Australia uses in some of its elections.

The Academy opted to use the preferential system in the best picture race because it realized that with a field of 10 nominees -- if support for the nominees was relatively evenly distributed among the 10 candidates -- a winner could emerge with just over 600 votes out of the potential voting pool of 6,000 members.

The preferential system is designed to measure depth of support, since second- and third-place choices can be just as important as first-place choices.

Under the system, the ballots are first separated according to first-place choices. If one film wins a majority of 50%-plus-one among all first-place votes, it's the winner. If not, then the film with the fewest numbers of first place votes is eliminated and those ballots are redistributed according to their second-place rankings. The process continues until one film has picked up a majority of the votes.

The process creates an added hurdle for Academy campaigners, who will have to work to ensure they pick up as much wide support from Academy members as possible, since earning the gold trophy won't be a simple matter of amassing the most votes. The 82nd annual Academy Awards will be handed out in Hollywood on March 7.


 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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