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I read a question, thought it was interesting, voted it up. It needed some editing, so I started fixing all the grammar mistakes, added punctuation, improved sentence structure; I realized that the quality of this question was very low - it felt like the OP didn't put any effort into it at all - no evidence of research was provided, and a very unclear question was asked.

I changed my mind about the upvote, but I couldn't change my vote until the post was edited. In a couple of minutes my edit was accepted, and I was able to change it to a downvote.

Is it normal? It just seems weird that your own edit can let you change your vote on a question.

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marked as duplicate by hims056, Shadow Wizard, Martijn Pieters, Tobias Kienzler, Rory Aug 19 '13 at 11:17

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.

    
Related if not a duplicate: Locked votes can be changed by editing a post –  hims056 Aug 19 '13 at 9:43

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Totally reasonable.

The idea is that we would always allow you to change your mind, and therefore your vote, except that it could be too easily abused by unscrupulous users.

For example, someone might decide to go downvote all of the competing answers to a question that they've answered to help push their own answer to the top, and then later go back and reverse those downvotes because the other answers don't really deserve to be downvoted. That's bad behavior, and we'd like to deter that.

So what we do is lock in your initial vote after a certain period of time (which still gives you a chance to fix fat-finger mistakes), and then add in an extra required step to change it: the post must be edited first.

It's not a perfect fix, but it's rather unlikely that the type of person who engages in tactical downvoting is going to go through and edit all of the other answers just to cover their tracks. And if they do, well then they've still failed at covering their tracks.

If you don't like that explanation, think of it this way: if a post is edited, its content changes, and therefore your opinion of its usefulness might change—a perfect reason to change your vote.

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