Turmoil surrounds Oscar’s new system of e-voting

One of the most anticipated award shows of the season, the Academy Awards, has given an extension to voters due to technical issues posed by the new availability of an online voting option.

In early 2012, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences publicized that electronic voting would be available for this year’s Oscars, but the transition seems to have caused general hubbub among voters. The Hollywood Reporter recently published accounts from several Academy members who had issues from log in to password misuse to navigation difficulties. Many members of the famously secretive Academy also expressed concern over the risk of hackers penetrating the site and changing votes.

“I’m not convinced that it’s exactly the Fort Knox of sites,” a member told Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s probably more difficult for members to log on than it is for hackers!”

Another elaborated: “Nothing’s really secure. There are countries that have been hacked.”

So maybe The Academy Awards are not necessarily up there with governments of several major world powers (many of which have been hacked), but come Award Season, this prestigious event seems to capture the attention of a huge portion of the nation. A hack could seriously tarnish the Academy’s pristine reputation.

All of the turmoil surrounding the change has caused fear that voters may resort to throwing in the towel on the entire process.

“I have heard from several that it’s been a disaster and they wanted to give up. Confused and frustrated people will just not vote,” a member expressed.

The Academy spokesperson rebutted, “We have to balance the opposing needs of convenience and security.”

In response to worries over hacks, the Academy is also taking precautionary measures like asking members to provide a phone number for an automated confirmation as soon as their ballots are submitted. The problem is, even the database of phone numbers and automated responses could be compromised as well.

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