The untold truth of the Oscars is that there’s a rigid system set up to determine who can vote. As Variety explains, new members applying to a branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have to be approved by all 17 branches’ executive committees and the AMPAS board. Once you’ve been accepted, you vote on the categories in your branch (e.g. writers vote for Best Original Screenplay) and for Best Picture. Voters are responsible for seeking out movies, which is why films with expansive advertising campaigns often do better.
The Razzies take a less formal approach. Wilson told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 that about a quarter of the then-1,014-ish Razzie members are journalists, another quarter work in the movie business, and half are people who’ve bought memberships through the website. (As of January 2021, a new voting membership costs $40 a year.) For perspective, in 2019, AMPAS had 8,469 eligible Oscar voters, and the Golden Globes had 87 voting members.
Razzie voters are also geographically diverse. In 2017, they had members in nearly every state and about 23 countries, according to Wilson. “I think we are the only awards that have all those different sectors of opinion voting on a single award,” he explained. Wilson has also admitted that he limits the list of possible nominees, with help from Rotten Tomatoes. A rating lower than 50% puts a movie in the running, while lower than 10% almost guarantees a nomination.