Final ballots for Academy Awards voting were mailed Wednesday, February 2, to the 5,755 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The ballots contain the nominees in all 19 categories that don't require special screenings. Special screenings are required to vote in the short film, documentary, and foreign language categories, and ballots for those categories are distributed after verifying a member has attended the screenings.
Completed ballots must be returned to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) (who have tabulated the Oscars ballots for 77 years) by 5 PM Pacific on Tuesday, February 22. The votes will then be tabulated by hand (PwC spends 1,700 "person hours" each year counting and verifying the ballots) and the results placed in sealed envelopes which will be opened live on-air at the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday, February 27.
The annual process of announcing who will present at this year's ceremony has begun. Earlier this week, the Academy announced that Academy Award nominees Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin, Tropic Thunder) and Annette Bening (The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, The Kids are All Right) will be presenting at the Oscars. It was also announced that actor Hugh Jackman, who hosted the 81st Academy Awards in 2009, will appear as a presenter.
Traditionally the acting awards each year are presented by the previous year's winner of the opposite gender (last year's Best Actor presents this year's Best Actress statuette, etc.) but there has been no word yet from the Academy on whether last year's winners have been invited back or agreed to present. Last year's acting award winners (in case you need to jog your memory) were Jeff Bridges (Best Actor for Crazy Heart), Sandra Bullock (Best Actress for The Blind Side), Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting Actor for Inglourious Basterds), and Mo'Nique (Best Supporting Actress for Precious). Bridges is a nominee again this year for True Grit, and as such will likely be on hand regardless of presenting duties. Mo'Nique joined the Academy president Tom Sherak in announcing the nominees on January 25th; it is unclear whether that means she won't be presenting at the ceremony.