The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has adopted a new voting system for the 2010 race, and an article in this week’s New Yorker argues that it’s likely to harm Avatar’s chances. (Hat tip: Kare Anderson)
Instead of a simple ballot system where the movie with the most votes wins, the Academy is using a what is known as an instant-runoff system. It works like this: Voters rank the ten nominees in order of preference from 1 to 10. If no movie gets a majority of first place votes (which isn’t likely to happen, especially in early rounds), the last-place movie is dropped and the second choices on each of its ballots are redistributed to the other nine movies. This process continues until one movie finally has a majority of first choices.