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I understand the reasons for decreasing the time window on being able to reverse a vote, but I think it ultimately is going to cause more problems than it solves. I addressed this in a comment to one of Jeff's responses to another question on "tactical downvoting", but I think it warrants further discussion.

There are legitimate times when a downvote is warranted based on initial impressions or original content. However, after after additional research (or the question being edited) the downvote is not warranted anymore. By reducing the window it is no longer possible to reverse a warranted downvote for these type of legitimate reasons.

A perfect example of this can be seen by the revision history for this question. Based on the original content of the question, it absolutely warranted a downvote. However, since the question was edited, the downvote is no longer warranted. Unfortunately, having downvoted it initially, I can no longer change my vote (either by removing the downvote or upvoting).

Just to clarify the sequence of events in this particular case, they are:

  1. Original question asked.
  2. I downvoted the question.
  3. I left a comment explaining why I downvoted.
  4. Someone else downvoted the question (resulting in a -2 vote score).
  5. Someone other than the questioner or myself edited the question.
  6. I revisted the question and felt that the downvote was no longer warranted.
  7. I removed my comment.
  8. I attempted to undo my downvote and recieved the message telling me I was outside the time limit window. (I tried to undo by clicking the downvote again and also by clicking the upvote, both resulted in the same message.)
  9. I edited the question.
  10. I was then able to undo my downvote.

Based on my understanding of how this is supposed to work, I should have been successful in step 8 since it was after an edit. I also did not provide an answer to the question so I don't see how any of this could have been construed as trying to game the system to increase rep. In fact, I'm not sure how I see voting/undoing votes on a question can game the system at all; doing this on answers, yes but not on questions.

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Did you mean "reversals"? –  John Saunders Aug 29 '09 at 22:12
    
@John Saunders: Yes, I did. Corrected the title. Thanks. –  Scott Dorman Aug 29 '09 at 22:23

2 Answers 2

As I understand it, the voting window should have been reset by Jonathan's edit. If not, I would consider that a bug.

Note that you have enough reputation on Stack Overflow to edit the question, an action that should also give you opportunity to change your vote. Until the bug is fixed, I consider this a valid work-around (I highly doubt such isolated actions will trigger any fraud warnings, but if so the resulting noise should provide sufficient motivation to fix the bug... ;-)

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2  
I think there needs to be more clarification on how/when the voting window reset actually works. If Jonathan's edit should have reset the vote window, then it is definately a bug since I'm still not able to reverse the vote. I would consider editing the question to allow myself to reverse the downvote but since I don't have any useful edits to make I don't feel justified doing so. –  Scott Dorman Aug 29 '09 at 22:26
    
I doubt Jeff wants to be too specific about it, since he's intending for it to be just a bit confusing for the purpose of discouraging gaming. But you can almost always find a reason to edit if you look hard enough - in this case, there are two places where the spacing is off (near the slash and the double--dash), the double--dash should be replaced with an en-dash –, and the tags could be significantly improved. –  Shog9 Aug 29 '09 at 22:33
    
Ok...you talked me in to it. I edited the post to clean up the spacing and was then able to remove my downvote. Still seems like a bug since I should have been able to do that after Jonathan's edit. –  Scott Dorman Aug 29 '09 at 22:36
    
If you can come up with a solid set of steps to reproduce, someone from the team should be able to... explain why it's by design. –  Shog9 Aug 29 '09 at 22:39

Be aware that if you want to change your vote there are two different ways:

  • cast initial upvote
  • click upvote again to "undo" upvote
  • click downvote

That's 3 votes by our reckoning.

  • cast initial upvote
  • click downvote to convert your upvote to a downvote

That's 2 votes by our reckoning.

Don't be surprised if a) is blocked, while b) is not.

And of course you can always re-vote after an edit, but if you are sloppy in the way you cast your votes (see above), you may be blocked regardless.

share|improve this answer
    
In this particular case, both were blocked. I initially tried a variant of "option 1" but the sequence was cast an initial downvote, the click downvote again to undo the downvote. This was after an edit, but an edit performed by someone who was not the original questioner or myself. Incidentally, I was unable to undo my vote in any way at all until after I edited the question. –  Scott Dorman Aug 30 '09 at 14:25
    
Further clarification: I cast the initial downvote and then did not try to undo that vote until after the first edit of the question. It was at that point I was informed that I could not undo the vote because it was past the time window. –  Scott Dorman Aug 30 '09 at 14:26
19  
Safe to say that this particular sequence violates the principle of least astonishment. It may have saved the programmers a few minutes of coding, but it's not intuitive to expect users to know that if they want to switch to a downvote, they must not undo their upvote first. –  ベレアー アダム Sep 16 '09 at 12:29
4  
What is this designed to prevent? I should be able to change my votes whenever I want. Especially if I just clicked the wrong button... –  Eric Nicholson Oct 1 '09 at 17:14
    
too many gaming exploits with vote undo windows, sadly. –  Jeff Atwood Oct 3 '09 at 8:10
    
Please, why not fix this. You can make the window to say 10 seconds. I think it's totally non-intuitive to click on upvote when the downvote arrow is still hilighted. I think people first undo a downvote, and then upvote. I was just trapped by this again. If you don't want to allow it, i think you should at least display a warning that asks the user whether he really wants to just unvote, or whether he wants to upvote the same time. Most of the time if you edit the answer, you believe in it and you would want to upvote it afterwards. –  Johannes Schaub - litb Jun 28 '10 at 21:29

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