With heavy criticism from media outlets and industry types alike that the Daytime Emmy nomination process was unfair, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences made changes to the way that this year's nominees were selected.
In previous years, the cast and crew of each soap opera determined exactly who received Daytime Emmy nominations. It was widely held that the shows with the largest casts would thereby get the most nominations because they had the most performers casting votes, a process called "bloc voting." After the performers cast their votes, the top vote-getters in each category were then placed on the final Emmy ballot, which was voted on by members of NATAS. The top vote getter was then awarded the Daytime Emmy trophy.
Critics of the old system use the past two Emmy ceremonies as proof that things just weren't quite right. In 2001 and 2002, the nominations were dominated by ABC's All My Children and CBS's As the World Turns - two soaps with larger than normal casts.
This year, there was an additional step put in place that was intended to help level the playing field. Each of the ten soap operas held their own mini-Emmys ceremony. All of the cast members were asked to cast their votes in each of the acting categories - from Lead Actor right down to Younger Actress. The top two vote-getters in each category were then determined to be that show's entries for possible Emmy nomination. This change meant that each show could no longer have more than two nominations per category. The pre-nominations for each of the ten soaps were then sent to a panel composed of NATAS members and cast members from each soap opera. Each soap was allowed to place an equal number of its cast members on the screening panel - according to sources there were ten performers from each of the soaps this year. The panel then viewed 30-minute reels of each of the nominees' work and were asked to cast their votes for the best of the bunch. For example, the screening panel watched twenty clips in the Lead Actor category - two pre-nominees per each of the ten soaps.
Those pre-nominees receiving the most votes were then determined to be this year's Daytime Emmy nominees. The process to select which nominee takes home the Emmy statuette remains unchanged.