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I was actually browsing through this question in my mobile and I accidently clicked on the downvote button as in the mobile the touch was not very sensitive. Now when I try to cancel the downvote, the message Your vote is locked unless the question is edited message comes. Is there any way I can cancel the downvote?

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+1 Nice point. Even I'm in support of not locking the vote so quickly. –  Nav Mar 31 '11 at 4:50
    
This happens all the time to me when browsing on iPhone. I imagine I'm just clumsy with my fingers, and fortunately I've always noticed within the grace period so that I could undo it. But +1 for the question. –  Cody Gray Mar 31 '11 at 5:27
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Yeah, this locking-in of your vote is STUPID! –  Lawrence Dol Mar 31 '11 at 5:48
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2 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

You can leave a comment for the author asking them to edit the post. That'll allow you to remove your downvote.

In general, you can also "cancel" your vote within the grace period after you first make it. I believe it's five minutes. Be aware, though, that if you don't re-vote right after, your "cancelled" of a vote will be locked in as well after the grace period expires and you won't be able to vote on the post again until it's edited.

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I think we should increase the grace period. –  rubyprince Mar 31 '11 at 6:22
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@rubyprince to be fair, I don't think so. I think that five minutes is more than enough time to realize you inadvertently clicked the downvote/upvote and respond. –  jcolebrand Mar 31 '11 at 6:53
    
@dranchenstern: In that case we should display an alert like "Are you sure" when downvoting..I am not sure if this is happening now..I dont remember seeing it when I downvoted.. –  rubyprince Mar 31 '11 at 7:12
    
@rubyprince: there already is a message along the lines of "please consider leaving a comment why you think this answer is not useful", but I don't know if the mobile versions shows that as well. Also I certainly don't want another "Are you sure you really want to shutdown your PC since you just clicked on start, shutdown?" –  Tobias Kienzler Mar 31 '11 at 8:37
    
@tobias..shutting down your pc is not like downvoting another person's question..former affects the person only while latter affects another person. I think it is good to have an alert. –  rubyprince Mar 31 '11 at 9:21
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I'd really like there to be a way to remove down-votes after the fact for a completely different reason. I'm a horrible hot-head who retaliatory down-votes (I know, I know) but I inevitably calm down later on and want to go back to remove them and can't. –  kekekela Jun 22 '11 at 21:24
    
Ditto for wanting to remove downvotes. I just sometimes act before thinking it through, and thinking often takes more than 5 minutes and/or other input that I didn't have. –  Ed Staub Jul 1 '11 at 17:25
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What does the lockout after 5-minutes protect against exactly? I'm trying to think of a reason we'd want to prevent people from reconsidering their vote at a later time. I'm sure the site designers must have had something in mind, but their reasoning is a complete mystery to me. I get why it might cause problems if people edit a comment at a later time (this could inadvertently made subsequent comments hard to understand or change their meaning), but I don't see what the issue is for votes. –  devuxer Sep 25 '11 at 17:34
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Edit: I took flak for using the word "hack".

At StackOverflow one receives with the reputation also the responsibility not to misuse the system. I feel this responsibility and therefore I also feel that just editing a text to remove a downvote is a hack.

What is a hack? It is an "an inelegant but effective solution to a computing problem"- It is also a "productivity technique[s] used by programmers to solve everyday problems" (quotes from Wikipedia).

Please don't go discussing what's a hack. It's not important. I just found a somewhat unusual "solution" to remove a downvote on the spot, if you have enough reputation. That's the core of my answer.


Original answer:

I found a hack to remove the downvote. I had a lengthy discussion about a point and I got convinced that my downvote is not right.

The hack: I edited the post, then I could remove the downvote.

No need to wait for the owner of the post. The discussion was not with the owner of the post, and I felt bad for my downvote.

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It's not a hack. The accepted answer here ends with: and you won't be able to vote on the post again until it's edited. This is the expected and normal behavior. Even the orange message itself clearly says: Your vote is now locked in unless this question is edited –  Shadow Wizard Oct 22 '12 at 11:33
    
The hack is, I edited. I didn't need to ask the owner of the post. –  nalply Oct 22 '12 at 11:57
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It doesn't matter who edited, if you have enough reputation the system trust you to not make edits without good enough reason. Editing just for the sake of undoing a vote (up or down) is pretty much in the gray zone if you ask me. –  Shadow Wizard Oct 22 '12 at 12:14
    
That's why it's a hack. –  nalply Oct 22 '12 at 12:26
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@nalpy No, it isn't. Since as said before, editing other people's posts is your good right as a high-enough-rep SO user. When it's common standard behaviour, it is not a hack to be found. –  Christian Rau Nov 1 '12 at 8:58
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Fair enough now with your edit. Still not 100% agree, but it's much better said and explained. Downvote cancelled! :-) –  Shadow Wizard Nov 1 '12 at 10:52
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