LOS ANGELES, May 5 (UPI) -- The Academy Awards has changed its rules for voting in the foreign language and documentary shorts categories, allowing all members to vote in those categories.
The academy announced the change Saturday at the first-ever general meeting of members, held at simultaneous gatherings in Beverly Hills, New York and Emeryville, Calif., the Hollywood Reporter said.
Previously, members had to view the foreign language and documentary shorts nominees in a theatrical setting to be eligible to vote in the final round of balloting. Now the Academy will provide members with DVDs of the nominated films, as it does in the documentary feature, animated short film and live action short film categories, allowing all members to vote in the categories.
"This change continues our efforts to expand our members' participation in all aspects of the academy's activities including, of course, voting for the Oscars," said academy President Hawk Koch. "Building on this past season's 90 percent record voter turnout, we want to give our members as many opportunities as possible to see these great films an vote in these categories next year."
Also at the meeting, the academy announced that voter turnout was up to 90 percent during the the last awards ceremony, which was likely due to the introduction of electronic voting, officials said.