Latent Racism? NSA-Level Secrecy? Alec Baldwin? 2013 Emmy Burning Questions Answered!

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How can there be a tie in Emmy voting when there are a large number of nominees, such as the seven women up for Best Actress in a Drama?

— P. Butter, Atlanta

Easily, when you consider what an Emmy ballot actually looks like. We're not talking about a standard election ballot, here. Instead, Academy members vote either on a "yes-no" ballot or a preferential-style ballot, depending on the category. "Yes-no" ballots display a list of nominees and ask voters to say whether each candidate deserves an Emmy; multiple affirmatives are just fine. Enough yeses, and suddenly you're looking at a tie.

For the other form of ballot, voters are asked to rank nominees by preference, assigning their top pick the number 1. A complex mathematical formula then determines who wins, but the method does allow enough wiggle room for ties. This year it seems up to three actresses had close enough scores to warrant inclusion for seven ladies, instead of the usual five, to compete for Lead Actress, Drama.

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