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I vote a lot: I've cast just over 12,000 total votes on Qs and As on ServerFault. I'm also a persnickety sysadmin, so lately I've been tracking my vote totals and keeping track of whether I'm gaining on the couple of people who have voted more than I have.

For the past 3 weeks, I've noticed that my vote count goes down on the last day of the week. For example, at 4pm local time on Friday (which is Saturday UTC 0000), I had 11985 votes. Later, I cast my 40 votes for the day, but instead of 12025, my vote total is only 12015. 10 votes have disappeared. (I keep forgetting to check my total when I start.)

So far, all these vanishing votes were cast before 1 Jan 2012: I've been tracking my weekly/monthly/quarterly votes, and those counts haven't gone down, just my all-time count.

I know that there is lots of cleanup of old questions going on on SF, so one possibility is that vote totals are recalculated at that time. (UTC 0000 on Sat, the last day of the SE week.)

Is that what's happening?

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See: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/117846/… (it's not quite a duplicate) –  jonsca Jan 28 '12 at 7:29
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Perhaps questions/answers on which you downvoted were deleted. And once a week the vote counts get recalculated. –  CodesInChaos Jan 28 '12 at 11:43
    
I'm rather happy that downvotes on deleted answers are lost, so I can get my precious rep back. :-) And upvotes on posts that are later deleted ought to cost you something. –  Bo Persson Jan 28 '12 at 12:05
    
possible duplicate of Eeeek! I'm missing 650 downvotes, and 300 upvotes –  Pëkka Jan 28 '12 at 16:28
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2 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

There are two ways to (legitimately) "lose" a vote:

  1. The question / answer you voted on gets deleted (as jonsca already pointed out).

    See Eeeek! I'm missing 650 downvotes, and 300 upvotes.

  2. You voted too many times on the same person's posts, the system calls shenanigans and voids your votes.

    For obvious reason, us mortals don't know exactly how it works.

    See:

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Not 100% sure I'd describe the second one as "legitimately" losing the votes. If it's appropriate voting and the fraud detection pick it up it seems like a bug. If it's not appropriate voting then it's not legitimate. –  Flexo Jan 28 '12 at 12:49
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@awoodland: You can easily trigger the fraud detection with appropriate voting. It happened to me at least once while browsing through the answers of a specific user. Not what I'd want to happen, but probably [status-bydesign]. –  Dennis Jan 28 '12 at 13:34
    
The vote abuse issue needs another question... –  Ward Jan 28 '12 at 20:11
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