Earlier today I mentioned how Oscar nomination ballots were due this Thursday, January 3, the same day the WGA, Art Directors and Producers Guild announce their nominees, but just now the Academy sent out a press release noting they will be extending the deadline by one day.
Academy COO Ric Robertson said in the release, "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 mentioning of the new online process of voting is interesting considering Scott Feinberg at The Hollywood Reporter wrote last week how the online voting was causing problems with some voters when it comes to navigation as well as forgetting or misusing passwords. This caused speculation the older voting bloc of the Academy, out of frustration, may decide not to vote at all with more than one Academy member calling the site a "disaster."
Several members stressed that they carefully typed in their password three different times, were rejected each time and, after the third, were locked out of trying again until they contacted the toll-free help line. Some say they endured considerable wait times, only to be told that they could set a new password but would need to wait 24 hours for the password database to refresh before they could try again.
Of course, the deadline change is going to cause a disruption in the online voting system, which will be closed for two hours on Thursday, January 3 (from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PT) to accommodate the extension and maintain security. The system will re-open at 7 p.m. PT on January 3 and remain available to members until 5:00 p.m. PT January 4.
Whether this will have any impact on the voting or if voting in general will be down we'll never know considering the Academy never reveals information on how many people have voted, how they voted, etc.
The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.