The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed today that it will be using the preferential voting system to determine which of the 10 contenders for its Best Picture award will receive the 2009 Oscar. The system has long been used in the round of voting which determines the nominees in most categories, but it has not been used on the final ballot for Best Picture since 1945.

In June the Academy's Board of Governors extended the Best Picture category from five to 10 nominees, which necessitated a change to the voting system for the category. With 10 nominees, the preferential system is one that best allows the collective judgment of all voting members to be most accurately represented.

"Instead of just marking an 'X' to indicate which one picture they believe to be the best, members will indicate their second, third and further preferences as well," Academy President Tom Sherak said. "PricewaterhouseCoopers will then be able to establish the Best Picture recipient with the strongest support of a majority of our electorate."

In 1934 and 1935, there were 12 nominees for Best Picture and the preferential system was used to determine the winners. From 1936 through 1943, there were 10 nominees for Best Picture and the preferential system was used for final balloting. In 1944 and 1945, the preferential system continued to be used, though there were only five nominees in the category.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar® presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.