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I came across this question - Sql Server Will Index Help Here on SO and if you read the comments on the question, the OP claims that he is not registered and hence cannot up-vote.

The profile of OP shows that he is a member for 56 days. http://stackoverflow.com/users/572140/joda-maki

I am confused if this is expected behavior from the system? Why is OP not able to up-vote for any of the answers whereas he has been able to accept around 30 answers for his questions?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Unregistered users are not able to cast votes. They can accept answers and earn other privileges as well, but they cannot cast anything that counts as a vote.

As noted in the profile, the user in question is currently unregistered.

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@Grace - But he can accept the answer and he gains reputation points for that? He can do everything other than upvoting is it? How is his user profile maintained if he is unregistered? –  Sachin Shanbhag Mar 8 '11 at 15:59
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@SachinShanbhag Maintainence by cookie. And yes, he can do anything outside of voting, once earning enough reputation. This is acceptable - one of the great advantages of Stack Overflow is that we allow people to ask and answer questions without having to register an account. Considering the user accepts answers, that's a lot more than your typical drive-by user, so it's pretty good contributions for someone who is not registered. –  Grace Note Mar 8 '11 at 16:00
    
@Grace - Also how does that user come back to system (something similar to login) Next time he visits the system, how does he map to his original account/profile? –  Sachin Shanbhag Mar 8 '11 at 16:01
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@Sachin By cookie, again. And if the cookie fades away, the user can always send an email to get the cookie reset. –  Grace Note Mar 8 '11 at 16:02
    
@Grace - All registered users will have something unique ID to recognise them. But if this unregistered user logs in from some other system, how is his profile matched? –  Sachin Shanbhag Mar 8 '11 at 16:06
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@Sachin The cookie is the only thing that ties the unregistered user to anything. If you log into another machine, you won't have access unless you somehow retain that cookie. But if you only use one machine, then this isn't a problem at all. Read up more about the benefits and downsides to running about unregistered. –  Grace Note Mar 8 '11 at 16:09
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@Grace - Thanks a lot. The information was really helpful. These kind of things make me like SE sites more and more ;) –  Sachin Shanbhag Mar 8 '11 at 16:11
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Thanks Grace, this is all new to me too. :-) –  Shadow Wizard Mar 8 '11 at 16:17
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