The Oscars are among the most prestigious awards in the world of cinema, celebrating excellence and innovation in filmmaking. What may be less well-known is that these awards also demonstrate excellence and innovation in voting.
The nominees for every major category are chosen by ranked choice voting. Because multiple nominees are chosen for each category, multi-seat ranked choice voting - a form of fair representation voting - is used to select nominees. Fair representation voting ensures that more voters will be able to elect a candidate they prefer. In the context of the Oscars, it means that voters with widely varying preferences will be able to see at least one of their favorite films get a key nomination.
In 2009 The Academy decided to increase the maximum number of nominees for Best Picture from 5
Ranked choice voting is similar to a runoff system, but even better. Voters rank candidates in order of
The process used by the Academy to choose Best Picture use this model to ensure that a film with more consensus support actually wins the award. Ranked choice voting makes the Oscars more fair and competitive. A movie with strong support from just a few voters will not defeat a movie that has a broader base of support among the entire academy. That’s why ranked choice voting continues to be promoted for elections more generally, including being recommended by Roberts Rules of Order.
Ranked choice voting allows for greater choice in nominees without sacrificing election integrity or confidence in results.