I just came across this question, which in my opinion is pure programming and therefore belongs on SO. I went to vote accordingly and was informed that I had already voted on it, even though it shows no votes. Although I can't recall it I imagine that I had indeed voted on it before and that vote has expired. I had expected that when a vote expires it simply disappears and I would be able to vote again, so is this correct behaviour or is something broken?

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    If you see a question that's not on the front page to get a lot of attention, but needs to be closed, you should post it in the Vote To Close chat.
    – MDMarra
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 13:45
  • @MDMarra, while that may be a workaround in some cases I personally rarely see anything other than the front page and often don't even get through that in one session. In this case the question did pop back onto the front page. Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 20:59
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    We still like it if you would post those there. A lot regular close-voters are in different time zones. Sometimes it's hard to get 5 together on a borderline question before it hits page 2. I know from previous comments you have an aversion to chat here, but don't be scared, no one really chats in VTC, they just post links :)
    – MDMarra
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


I just found this on mSO. To quote Jeff's answer

This is correct. You are only allowed to cast one close or reopen vote on any given post, largely to prevent close/reopen wars involving the same cast of characters.

  • What I think I deducted from all of this is that votes to close expire after some time if the quota isn't hit, and I am unable to renew the vote. Is this correct?
    – Sven
    Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 12:01
  • @SvenW: Yes, close/reopen votes expire as detailed here.
    – user9517
    Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 13:16

I assume that expired close votes are "locked" similarly to the way this meta.SO post says that cancelled up or down votes are locked.

For up or down votes, 5 minutes after you cast them, they're locked and can't be changed unless the post is edited. According to that linked post, if you upvote something, then cancel your vote (by clicking the up arrow again) you're still considered to have voted and that's locked in after the 5 minutes.

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    Sounds broken to me. Logically, both, canceling up/downvotes and deleting / expiring close and delete votes should reinstate the voting status to what it would have been without these votes.
    – the-wabbit
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 13:05
  • The logic is almost sound for upvotes/downvotes on questions (you "voted" in that you decided this was/was not worthy of the up or downvote you were going to apply), but I agree with @syneticon-dj that you should be allowed to re-apply a close vote to a question if it expires: You still want to close it, so why shouldn't you be allowed to pile on if your vote expired but 4 other people decided they wanted to close it too?
    – voretaq7
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 19:44
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    Yet another reason programmers should not be allowed to design user interfaces. Among other things it ignores the fact that sometimes peoples' hands shake (tends to happen more as you get older), which can result in multiple presses of a key or button, which may not even be noticed immediately if you're not looking at the screen. Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 20:56

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