This may have been discussed on MSO but I don't go there any more, so I wouldn't see it and don't believe we should have to search elsewhere for answers relevant to this SF.

It happened again today but certainly not for the first time that I cast a vote to close a question (which question is not really relevant), in this instance it was to move it to SU. Sometimes that question is later edited or, as happened this time, someone found a dupe and the vote would have been better cast as close it as a dupe, rather than to move or close it. Other times the edited question changes things enough that I wish I could retract the vote altogether.

Is there a reason why this hasn't been implemented? I suspect it's a design decision rather than an oversight, although I can't immediately see the reasoning for it.

If it really was an oversight, can we please have it implemented?

5 Answers 5


Close votes age away harmlessly after 4 days if they do not reach the threshold.

  • 5
    Thanks. I knew the vanished but didn't realise it was after only 4 days. It would still be useful to have the option to change a vote though. Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 1:51
  • 1
    That is nice, but the OP above is correct. Often there are close votes AND feedback to an OP. The OP gets fixed, but it is too late because it got closed. This has happened to me multiple times on multiple SE sites. If you can give a close vote, you should be able to retract it. Just like an up/down vote. Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 16:20

There are as well those cases where a question is edited to make it (IMNSHO) generic and applicable to the site, for instance:


Yet still end up getting migrated. Being able to retract close votes may help.


I think it would definitely be useful to be able to move votes between categories so that a closed question ends up in the right place. However I'm not sure if being able to remove a close vote would be such a good idea. Whilst it would mean that people could remove a close vote if the question gets edited so that it no longer need, this may have the opposite effect of people voting to close a question that has potential, earlier, because they can always remove it later. Before you know it the questions closed before the author gets chance to edit it. At the moment people are inclined to delay a little before voting for questions that may have potential.


I think having the close vote be a binding act is an important way of regulating its use (much like the limited number of close votes available) -- you know you're sentencing a question to death, and hopefully we all think twice before hitting that button.

That said I too would like the ability to move my vote (e.g. from "migrate" to "exact duplicate of...") if a more appropriate close option becomes obvious to me later...

  • 3
    There are times when a question really should be killed off but a later edit changes the entire meaning or context sufficiently to have it remain. Once a few votes have been cast there's a tendency for others to follow suit. Being able to retract the vote might tend to negate that a bit. Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 21:58
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    I absolutely agree that it shouldn't be cast lightly - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to change it. If you want to use the analogy of sentencing a question to death then a reprieve is possible there, as perhaps it should be here if the person goes back and edits their question to make it valid.
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 11:57
  • @Robert - good point, I'm used to only voting to close blatantly bad/off-topic/duplicated questions, but subsequent edits may make retracting a vote worthwhile.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 16:01

It's been brought up before:

Ability to change close reason before it gets closed

Just not recently. Probably time to do it again!

  • 1
    Ok, consider the issue raised again. It wasn't exactly discussed at length in the linked question and the highest voted of the two answers was in favour of being able to change or retract. Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 21:55

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