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Sometimes, after a few days, there are two or three good answers to a question, or answers which are very much like each other. It can be hard to choose which to accept. I think that after two days, you should be able to accept up to three answers, and the 15 points should be divided between the three answerers.

(Maybe this could be limited to only accepting answers you have upvoted yourself.)

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marked as duplicate by Shadow Wizard, ProgramFOX, Martijn Pieters, hims056, Al E. Apr 6 at 17:41

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you have an answer that completely answers your question and it's the "best" of many such, then I believe that you should mark it as accepted to signal to the rest of the world that this answer is the one that solved your problem in the best way. If you have several answers of similar quality, but none of them completely answers your questions, you can either choose the best of them -- and comment on what additions are needed, update your question hoping to get a better answer, or, if you can put several answers together to get a single, best, complete answer, write your own answer combining all of the best parts of the incomplete answers into one and accept it after the waiting period.

The goal is, I think, to get a complete, accepted answer to every possible question, not to push points around on the table. You'd certainly want to upvote all the helpful answers whether you accept them or not. And I wouldn't create my own answer unless none of the other answers is acceptable.

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One of the good things about comments and splitting the vote is that it allows the asker to prod what edits or additions they would like to see on an answer that's on the edge be made if they want that big tick. –  random Aug 25 '09 at 12:36

In this case I would upvote all answers you would like to accept and compose a combined answer yourself and accept it. Give credit to the answers you used for your answer. Of course that way nobody gets the 15 points, but this site is about great and helpful answers in the first place ;).

This holds true if all answers contributed to the solution of the problem somewhat equally. As this is a community driven site with no ownership, you could also accept the most helpful answer and - provided you have neough reputation to have edit power - edit the others in. Clearly mark and attribute them, and again upvote the other helpful answers.

Look at this duplicate as well.

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If you have such a dilemma, that's a good thing.

If you find it hard to choose one over the other, why not award the accepted answer to the player with the lower rep score?

You win by having selected a good answer and the answerer wins by repping up some.

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I agree, I often favor the lower-rep users when voting for similar quality answers. I think I mentioned this on the podcast, but I still get a little thrill giving someone their first upvote. You see, the first hit is always "free".. –  Jeff Atwood Aug 25 '09 at 12:10
    
I often upvote answers (and questions) by new users because they are new (and correct). I would want to be careful to only accept the best answer, though. Marking an answer as accepted signals to everyone else who reads the question/answer that it is the best solution. Choosing an inferior answer simply because the user has fewer points would be detrimental to these later readers. –  tvanfosson Aug 25 '09 at 12:34

Accept the best answer and upvote any good answers. I don't see any reason for this to change, other than trying to spread reputation around. If you have three accepted answers, it sort of defeats the purpose. The green checkmark should be used by the OP to reward the answerer who helped him/her the most, not to decree correctness, since often the OP is about the worst person to determine who is correct and who is not. That's what votes and comments are for.

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