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I'm simply curious. After all, reputation is taken away to prevent abusive downvoting.

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You don't lose any rep from downvoting questions in the first place. – a cat Oct 28 '11 at 19:19
up vote 12 down vote accepted

You do get your rep back if the answer you downvoted is deleted, but you don't if it is locked, or if its question is closed.

Also note that downvotes on questions are free.

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See this post for info on recalculating rep – Michael Mrozek Oct 28 '11 at 19:04

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