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I know this seems crazy but given the OP has the ability to accept an answer should they also have the ability to upvote?

My thought here is that the voting on answers are the community opinion on which is the better answer but the OP should be accepting the answer they prefer over and above voting on the answers.

Perhaps a compromise would be to only allow OP voting after an answer is accepted. It might drive OPs to accept more answers.

Anyway, just a thought.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

I think it is much more preferable to allow the OP to vote on answers, than not to let them.

Blocking voting until an answer is accepted wouldn't contribute much to making people accept answers more often: the majority of people who are not accepting answers often enough are probably not voting anyway.

From the definition of a vote as you hover over it, "This answer is useful" or "This answer is not useful". Considering the OP (let's say Alice) is the one who asked the question, she's the one who knows best whether the answer was useful or not to her situation. Upvotes are also useful to reward people who may not have been the direct solution to the problem, but did provide a useful answer.

Consider this question of mine. OrbMan was one of the first people to post, and I upvoted his answer because it was helpful in teaching me new things as well as making me think about how to store things. But I had no intention of accepting his answer unless I truly intended to implement it, should I have been barred from rewarding his presentation of knowledge just because I hadn't accepted an answer? This is especially the case if you have a difficult question that later on is assigned a bounty. This means you definitely don't have an answer yet that you can accept... but does that mean that the current answers are necessarily unhelpful? Would their helpfulness really change just because someone else posted the answer that was accepted? I eventually accepted Jeffrey's later answer because it directly answered my question, but I still found OrbMan's answer to have been helpful until then. He deserves the upvote as a reward.

The OP is just as much a member of the community as anyone else. She should be free to judge whether any or all of the answers to her question are helpful or not, and contribute her opinion in the form of votes.

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+1 and an accepted. That's a damn good answer and cleared the issue for me. While I had thought of the 'reward' aspect I did also think that there were possibly answers to questions where as an OP I'd like to be able to reward more than others but only 1 can be accepted. Maybe OP should be able to upvote answers more than once? However, let's not go down that avenue. – Lazarus May 6 '10 at 13:19

The OP absolutely should be able to vote. An answer can be helpful or insightful without being "the" answer. Plus this serves as a way to give one user what amounts to a bonus for being the "most" correct, in terms of the OP's needs, answer.

Or put another way: Is the OP's opinion any less valid simply because he/she is the OP?

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The OPs opinion is absolutely valid, they select the 'most' correct answer by accepting it. With regard to any answers which don't actually solve or answer the original question for the OP, is the OP best placed to judge the 'correctness' of the answer given they posed the question. It comes down to the point, if it resolves the question then it's the answer isn't it? – Lazarus May 6 '10 at 12:56
It can be helpful/useful/insightful without being the resolution. – John Rudy May 6 '10 at 13:22
I would say the the OP's opinion is the most valid because it's their question. – Josh K May 6 '10 at 14:45
@Josh: I agree. – John Rudy May 6 '10 at 15:44

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