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The Stack Overflow schema says that VoteTypeId field in the Votes table corresponds to the type of vote received andVoteTypeId = 6 indicates a close vote. I am trying to find the number of close votes every year. However, I notice that such information is not present for year 2008, 2009 and 2010 but present for 2011 and 2012. For example, sql query for 2011 gives me

---------- ------- 
1          802092  
2          6647571 
3          461186  
4          21      
5          650191  
6          143608  
7          808     
8          14174   
9          14073   
10         389150  
11         24667   
12         702     
15         117065  
16         142198  

(14 row(s) affected)

while a 2010 query returns

---------- ------- 
1          469309  
2          4204926 
3          257103  
4          200     
5          387225  
8          8644    
9          8590    
10         199929  
11         13466   
12         538     
15         965     

(11 row(s) affected)

Surprisingly, 2010 and before do not have any votes for VoteTypeId = 6. Is there a reason for such a behavior?

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After a certain amount of time (and other criteria), close votes expire (they're aged out and no longer active). They're still recorded somewhere (because you can't re-vote to close a question you had previously voted on if your vote has expired), but they might be removed from that table. – Mat May 26 '13 at 9:33
@Mat, Thanks for your patience. Apologies, I deleted my previous comment by accident. If I understand correctly according to this answer by Jeff [0], a close vote will not expire if it would have less than a 100 views. Is it safe to assume that these changes where only implemented in 2011, since Jeff's answer is dated July 6 2011? I would also like to understand what was the mechanism for close vote expiration prior to 2011. [0] – Dexter May 26 '13 at 9:40
See… and… for related info. Before the change, I believe close vote simply expired after 4 days. – Mat May 26 '13 at 9:47
Thank You. I think I will safely assume that votes before 2011 are not available. However, I think I may be able to reengineer them from the PostHistory table. Such an approach however may be complex and not 100% accurate. – Dexter May 26 '13 at 9:53
I don't think so. Only completed closures would be in there. – Mat May 26 '13 at 9:54
Yes exactly, that will give me some sort of an idea but won't quite be accurate. I think I will give a pass on such a statistic. Thank You very much for your patience! – Dexter May 26 '13 at 9:56
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Close votes expire, and when they do they are no longer accessible in the Votes table on Data Explorer. (Before June 2011, close votes simply expired after four days, so there is no chance at all to have a record of votes prior to that now.)

Making this information available has been requested, but was declined. So you can't find that information on Data Explorer. The post history table won't help you there, an entry is made in that table only if a question is successfully closed/reopened. Expired votes won't register anything in there.

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