I've just seen an answer that I liked. It was:
- well thought out
- well laid out
- of a good length
- the only answer given so far
However I cannot bring myself to upvote it yet - because despite what I said above, I do not know if it is the correct answer to the problem (not without whipping up some test code). IOW, the truthness factor is high, but I don't want to up vote something where I don't know if it is correct.
This is a shame for the person who posted that answer, because I have just moved on and they won't ever get the up vote their answer deserves - unless I keep visiting the page to see if it has been marked as the correct answer.
So... what about a provisional upvote feature? In this feature the upvote is kept in a pending state and gets awarded once the OP marks the answer as correct (marks it as the accepted answer).
What does this solve? Well, nothing really, because there isn't a problem as such. But it would be nice to be able to reward an answer when it is proven to be correct and the reader is not in a position to make a call on its technical accuracy at that point in time.
Will this cannabalize real votes? I don't believe so - if I know an answer is good then I will up vote it immediately. Plus provisional upvotes could be geared to a certain rep level, it could be another privilege that a user can earn. Like real upvotes, you could also be limited a certain amount in any particular time frame.