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Film & DVD

Oscars online voting reduces awards to a shambles

Bungled electronic voting could throw the Oscar to the wrong movie

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It's also of a piece with the massive denial the media and much of the public continue to show toward electronic voting in general. Whether the prize is an Oscar or the presidency, it's apparently too scary for some of us to recognize that contests decided even in part by e-votes – which are inherently insecure and essentially unverifiable – have no value. When the alternative is to admit that everything you know about democratic selection is a lie, you'll go to some ridiculous lengths to maintain your faith in the system – like accepting the idea that a precinct in Harlem would cast not a single vote for Barack Obama (the official report from one such precinct in the 2008 Democratic primary).

So next year, maybe that Best Director statuette will go to Tyler Perry. And four years from now, the White House might be "won" by a candidate with an unquenchable yen for Poland Spring. It's the electronic age, and anything can happen. On the bright side, maybe someday Ben Affleck will make a movie about it.

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