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CMA Institutes Innovative Online Balloting For 2004 CMA Awards

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
For the first time, eligible CMA members will be able to hear music clips of each nominated Single, Song and Musical Event of the Year nominee when they vote online for the final 2004 CMA Awards ballot. Voting members will also be able to see a video clip of each Music Video of the Year finalist.

"All of these important innovations are meant to aid our members as they cast their votes for the CMA Awards," said CMA Executive Director Ed Benson. "It has been an ongoing commitment that CMA provides materials and access to information that enhances the voting process and our balloting system. We are on the cutting edge of giving our members the information they need to make their selections."

The music clips have been cleared for online streaming by the record labels, performance rights organizations and unions to aid the CMA voting process. Labels have furnished the 30-second music clips and video clips. For the Album of the Year, CMA will also include photos of the album cover graphics along with track listings for members to consider while picking their favorite from the category.

These additions are an important first for CMA's continuing online balloting process. CMA was the first to have online voting during the 2003 CMA Awards, when CMA's international members cast their votes by computer. In 2004, all CMA members are eligible to vote online.

"We are an audio art form and online voting is a great way to enjoy the added benefit of music and video clips. And, it is so simple to vote online," Benson said. "We've made the voting process quick and convenient so more members can easily participate .And, our last-minute members also have the luxury of casting their vote online right up to the final day and not have to worry about getting their printed ballot to the accounting firm on time via the mail." –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner