Baseball Is Shelving Punch Cards as All-Star Voting Goes Online

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Major League Baseball is moving its All-Star balloting online, shelving the punch card paper ballots previously used inside stadiums, according to a memo sent to team presidents.

The March 9 memo from Bob Bowman, baseball’s president for business and media, said online voting accounted for more than 80 percent of ballots cast last season and that more than 16 million paper ballots went unused.

“We therefore have made the decision to go green, while also saving the cost of managing an offline program,” Bowman wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

Matt Bourne, a spokesman for MLB, confirmed the online initiative.

The move brings baseball in line with the other major U.S. sports leagues, all of which use digital balloting for their All-Star games. The National Basketball Association, for instance, went all digital in 2011.

“While other leagues have made this transition, no league has seen the tremendous online vote totals that baseball has experienced,” Bowman wrote.

The memo said MLB would seek a replacement for Firestone, which had sponsored in-stadium balloting since 2010.

The All-Star Game is scheduled for July 14 in Cincinnati.