LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Ballots for the 81th annual Academy Awards were mailed Wednesday to the 5,810 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, organizers said.
The Oscar ballots must be returned to accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers by 5 p.m. Feb. 17 local time (0100 GMT Feb.18), five days before the awards are announced.
This year marks the 75th year that PricewaterhouseCoopers will oversee the ballot collection and counting process, with officials noting that there has never been a security breach in that time.
"The Academy is proud to recognize that for the past 75 years, PricewaterhouseCoopers has upheld the trust, integrity and tradition required in handling the Oscar ballots," said Academy President Sid Ganis in a statement.
Rick Rosas of PricewaterhouseCoopers said that despite advances in technology over the past seven decades, the company has never changed its hand-tabulation of ballots "to ensure the highest level of precision, discretion and secrecy."
The Oscar ballots mailed Wednesday include 19 award categories. Ballots for the remaining five categories -- documentary feature, documentary short subject, foreign language film, animated short film and live action short film -- will be distributed after verification of mandatory screenings.
The Academy Awards show are scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.