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Journey Take Early Lead Over ELO in Rock Hall Fan Voting

Theo Wargo / Ian Gavan, Getty Images
Theo Wargo / Ian Gavan, Getty Images

The early votes are already pouring in — and we aren’t talking about the presidential election. This year’s crop of potential Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees are all vying for the fan vote, and early results put Journey in the lead with more than 70,000 online ballots in their favor, an impressive total that gives them a slim edge over the Electric Light Orchestra.

Journey and ELO lead a pack of top vote-getters that’s top-heavy with classic-rock acts, followed by the Cars, Yes, Pearl Jam and Steppenwolf. Fans can vote once a day until the polls close on Dec. 5.

As in years past, all those fan votes only add up to a single vote on the official ballot for the winner, but coming out on top affords the winner arguably enviable bragging rights — particularly for acts that have been passed over in years past or have publicly expressed ambivalence toward the idea of the Rock Hall in general. Last year’s fan vote winner, Chicago, ultimately won induction into the Hall.

As notes, this year’s early vote totals are well below the numbers seen last year, when Chicago piled up more than 37 million votes (out of more than 150 million overall) on their way to victory. A number of fans cried foul over what they believed to be vote counts inflated through unscrupulous means, so the Hall has overhauled its approach this year, requiring fans to log in through Facebook to prove they’re actual human beings before casting a ballot.

Whether it holds remains to be seen, but Journey’s early lead can be at least partly attributed to their efforts to get out the fan vote via social media. “The fans are stoked. They’re very, very excited and they’ve been very supportive,” keyboardist Jonathan Cain told Billboard. “I think a lot of fans don’t realize they can vote, and that’s why we’re trying to encourage it.”


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