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It is impossible to vote to close a question once a bounty has been added to it. If the question has existing close votes when the bounty is added, they are usually doomed to expire while the bounty is active.

The close voters cannot re-vote when the bounty expires. This can easily kill the momentum to close a question. Ideally one of the voters would flag a moderator, but people are more reluctant to flag than to vote, and this requires that they somehow notice the question has been bountied.

I suggest that close votes not expire or bountied questions, or at least that they be removed when the bounty is added so they may be recast when it expires.

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This sounds like a good idea. I'm sure there's a good reason that close votes can't be cast on a question with a bounty, but I know I've seen questions with bounties that seemed like slam-dunk close vote candidates. I've wondered, when I see this, if the person issuing the bounty realizes that the reason the question wasn't getting attention was because it was off-topic, or not a quality question to begin with. I suppose in egregious cases, a flag would be appropriate. –  Andrew Barber Jan 30 '12 at 12:11
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Related/shameless plug: Allow users to vote to close bountied questions –  user149432 Jul 19 '12 at 20:20
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Darn, there's a bounty on this question so I can't vote to close it. :) Of course, I can't vote to close in the first place but that's neither here nor there. –  Yawus Jul 20 '12 at 17:37

2 Answers 2

Ideally one of the voters would flag a moderator, but people are more reluctant to flag than to vote, and this requires that they somehow notice the question has been bountied.

Once a bounty has been offered on a question, if that question needs to be closed then a moderator needs to be involved.

Remember: closing is a nomination for deletion. Saying, "Oh, no need to involve a moderator; if close votes don't expire, I'll just sit on my hands until the bounty is done and then close -> delete it" is effectively saying,

"I'm fine with someone putting serious effort into answering this question out of hope for a bounty reward, because I plan to delete the question and their answer, thus erasing both their effort and the reputation involved."

Don't do that. Contact a moderator - if the question must be closed or migrated, they can refund the bounty and do so immediately, removing the question from the Featured list. The longer you wait, the more potential for grief exists for everyone involved.

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I had an issue with this last week. I have created a question on SO: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11583028/boobs-operator-in-c-c-code-is-it-possible (deleted at the moment) which evoked a squall of successive close votes and then reopen votes for several times (and even deleted and undeleted). Moderators spent some time dealing with that question (sorry, I didn't want that). After the question was undeleted I put a bounty on it to draw users attention again, but people started complaining that it was impossible anymore to cast a close vote on it.

I think this is not a good situation (that question could be considered sexist by some individuals) and some instrument should be provided to close that kind of questions by the community (and reopen, of course).

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