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I voted down a bad answer. When I came back a bit later I found that the problem that caused me to downvote had been fixed and I tried to vote up once to return it to a zero state. Strangely enough this ended up with it showing one point instead of the zero it should have.

I figured my downvote had been replaced with an upvote so I tried clicking right on the number itself in the hope that was neutral--but this resulted in it showing +2/-1. What?!

Edit: Nobody has addressed how the votes ended up +2/-1. How was I allowed to upvote twice?

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I'm curious what site has corrupted people to make them think you would reverse a downvote by upvoting; the first time I wanted to reverse a downvote I clicked the down arrow and it went away exactly as I expected –  Michael Mrozek Jul 22 '10 at 2:00
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@Michael Mrozek - no site, just arithmetic :P If you initially add "-1" to a number, you need to cancel that out with "+1". I never made this mistake, but I can certainly see how someone would make it. –  detly Jul 22 '10 at 3:48
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Loren, I updated my answer to reflect your added question. In short: those +/- numbers are total votes, not yours. –  detly Jul 26 '10 at 1:57

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The correct way to reverse a vote is to click on the same button again — think of it like a toggle button. So to remove a downvote, click on the down arrow, and it should change from orange back to grey.

You'll notice that any time you vote the arrow remains highlighted, so that the next time you see the question or answer you can also see how you voted.

If you have a downvote registered for a Q or A and you click the upvote button, it will reverse your downvote and register an upvote.

Think of it this way: your vote against the answer is not simply taken in, used to bump the number and then forgotten. Your vote is remembered as a state: up, down or none. Maybe this makes it seem a little more sensible that clicking the down button again actually increases the tally of the answer: you're toggling your downvote state for that answer.

Clicking on the numbers shows you the total number of upvotes vs. the number of downvotes (not just yours, but everyone's), and is available to anyone with >1k rep.

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Did you try hovering the mouse over the arrow?

It clearly says "click again to undo"

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Rule #1366 of UI design: Users never read tool tips. –  Aarobot Jul 22 '10 at 1:34
    
Hovering your mouse over everything on SO is a pretty good idea; I'm constantly discovering things have tooltips I didn't know about –  Michael Mrozek Jul 22 '10 at 1:59
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@Aar programmers != users –  Earlz Jul 22 '10 at 4:31
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@Earlz: On the contrary, programmers are some of the worst users. –  Aarobot Jul 22 '10 at 15:00
    
@Aarbot: Tooltips take time to show up and give no indication they are there until they trigger. –  Loren Pechtel Dec 11 '10 at 5:08

You didn't upvote twice. When you went to change your vote, the score was most likely at +1/-2, which will show up as -1. Changing your vote then swaps a -1 into a +1, yielding +2/-1, with a visible display of +1. This is also why it wouldn't show a 0.

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