2016 All-Star balloting has begun, completely online and mobile

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With Sunday’s launch of the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, voting has officially begun for the 87th All-Star Game July 12th at Petco Park in San Diego. Major League Baseball’s All-Star Ballot program is the largest of its kind in professional sports, recording an all-time high of 620 million votes in 2015, eclipsing the previous record total of 391 million votes in 2012. For the second straight season, it will be operated exclusively online and via mobile devices at MLB.com, all 30 club websites and the MLB.com At-Bat mobile app.

You will be able to vote for starters in the 2016 All-Star game a total of 35 times, including a new wrinkle– a maximum of five valid ballots cast in any 24-hour period. The ballot will be available in English and Spanish, and will even offer an audio functionality for visually impaired fans. Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese versions of the online ballot will be available in May. Banco BHD will once again sponsor online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans.

Specifics regarding the unveiling of the 2016 American League and National League All-Star teams will be available in the coming weeks. The AL All-Star team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads, totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL, will be determined through a combination of player ballot choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers — AL skipper Ned Yost of the defending World Series Champion Royals and NL manager Terry Collins of the Mets.

After the announcement of the two All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each league’s 34-man roster via the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans will be able to once again cast votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period. Now in its 15th season with nearly 600 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make Final Vote selections on MLB.com, club sites and mobile devices. This year’s final aspect of All-Star Game voting will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award. During the Midsummer Classic, fans can vote exclusively at MLB.com and the 30 club sites with the 2016 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote. The overall voice of fans will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

Last year’s balloting theme clearly was youth, with the best crop of young talent ever elected to this coveted event. It will be interesting to see whether similar results appear this year. The 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International’s independent feed.