The Country Music Association has announced changes in its categories and voting procedures for inductions into the Country Music Hall of Fame beginning with the 2010 ballot. A new category, called “Veterans Era,” will recognize professionals who have been in the industry longer than 25 years. It combines two previous categories — “Career Achieved National Prominence Between World War II and 1975” (which was voted on annually) and “Career Achieved National Prominence Prior to World War II” (previously voted on every third year in rotation). The “Modern Era” category will be for professionals who have been in the industry at least 20 years, but no more than 25 years. It replaces the “Career Achieved National Prominence Between 1975-Present” category (which was voted on annually). The Veterans Era and the Modern Era inductions will take place each year and will have separate nominating committees. In addition, the third inductee each year will continue to be chosen from a rotating category, with each group represented every third year. Two existing categories — “Recording and/or Touring Musician” and “Non Performer” — will remain and will be supplemented by the new “Songwriter” category.