No more paper ballots; nominations for the annual Tony Awards are going all digital.
The Toronto company Yangaroo has been chosen to create a “state of the art digital platform” to determine the nominees for the annual best-of-Broadway awards, starting this year.
Until now, members of the Tony Nominating Committee have worked with a thick pile of papers listing all possible nominees in each category. In recent years nominators would gather in a room and mark their choices in colored highlighter, which would then be tabulated by an accountant. A Tony Awards spokesperson said the nominators will no longer use paper ballots in the voting room, but accountants will still tally the votes.
The new system will provide Tony Awards Productions with “a digital awards system hosted and maintained by YANGAROO, allowing the Tony Awards Nominating Committee to review eligible parties and relevant information in order to select the final nominees in each category,” according to a statement released by Yangaroo and the Tonys.
As of now, the larger pool of Tony voters will continue to receive a mailed trifold paper ballot with boxes that needed to be filled in pen.
Yangaroo has created similar nominating and voting systems for a variety of national awards, including the Grammys, the Golden Globes, the Emmys (Daytime, News and Documentary, and Sports), the Academy of Country Music Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, and the BET Awards.
“We are excited to adopt the Yangaroo Awards service for our nominating process and that our nominators will be utilizing the industry’s leading digital platform for their selection process,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing. “Moving the Tony Awards into the digital age is significant and we have chosen an experienced partner to work with us on this process.”
The 71st Tony Awards will broadcast live on CBS June 11 from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.