Encouraging people to explain down-votes
I've looked at several related threads; some people would like to know why they get downvotes specifically.
I'd like to have the optional ability to state why I'm voting something up or down.
One can optionally explain the reason for her/his edit of a question, so why not the reason for an up or down vote?
A benefit of SO is gaining understanding.
Many SO members would likely prefer to simply vote up/down... I suspect that others, like myself, would enjoy knowing the reason(s) behind down/up votes.
Design-wise, a simple dropdown could be used to avoid hurtful reasons.
By the way, I'm also willing to have the down/up vote ability to be identified... again, this could be optional. Design example:
5 == 7 up (Jeff, Gerry, 5 others); 2 down (unidentified)
This would be useful because a score of 5 might in one case be only 5 up while in another case it could equal 64 up, 59 down.