The fans have spoken, and they want Chicago in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

With an impressive 37,666,962 votes, the veteran horn-assisted ensemble has bested all competitors to earn the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominee Fan Vote. According to the Rock Hall's official site, Chicago's final tally was good for 23.41 percent of the total, giving the band an easy victory over fellow hopeful inductees such as Yes (at No. 2 with 16.2 percent) and the Cars (No. 3, 16.14 percent).

As previously reported, Chicago's victory in the fan vote election doesn't mean they'll ultimately earn induction into the Rock Hall — it simply adds a single ballot entry in their favor among a voting body that, as the Hall's site points out, consists of "more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry."

For a potentially ceremonial gesture, the fan vote process has generated a surprising amount of controversy this year. Cleveland.com reports that the number of respondents skyrocketed over the first few days of the poll, shooting from just under 371,000 during the first day to 82 million after three days. For some, that's a clear sign that the voting was hijacked by programs designed to artificially rig the outcome — an allegation supported by the deep research performed and shared by the site Future Rock Legends.

While it's definitely hard not to wonder where all the Chicago voters were when the band released its past few studio albums, and it seems likely the rules will be tightened during next year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan vote, there's no denying that for years the band has often been among the first acts mentioned during discussions of artists snubbed by the Rock Hall. Whoever actually makes the cut when next year's inductees are announced on Dec. 17, this should offer at least a small measure of vindication.

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