The reviews have been published, the movies are out, and now the true campaign begins: The Oscar polls are open.
Today is the first day that Academy members can vote to nominate films and individuals for the 86th annual Academy awards. Voting continues through January 8, and nominations are ultimately announced on January 16. This year, the nominations will be announced after the Golden Globes ceremony, meaning we won't have a repeat of last year's awkwardness wherein someone snubbed by the Oscars (cough cough Ben Affleck) will have to force a smile as he or she goes up to accept a Globe.
The Academy has tried to make sure that voting won't be as fraught as last year when the organization first allowed members to vote online via a frustratingly complicated system, which the Academy felt was necessary due to security concerns. The new system has been described as an "upgraded and simplified" one, according to Pete Hammond of Deadline.