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Allow me to change my vote if I discover an answer is wrong after I upvote it

A few times I see an answer that upon reading seems to be exactly what I want -- the perfect solution to a problem. I think wonderful, my problem's solved and upvote it. A half-hour/hour/day later after I've tried implementing their solution, I come across a roadblock -- their solution fundamentally won't work and could never work; e.g., they tried to do some sort of action not allowed by the web framework.

Not only did their solution not help; it wasted a lot of my time implementing something that could never work. And now the next person who comes along will see their solution and try to implement it and will see that it's upvoted. Maybe I'll write a comment; but maybe they'll miss it or decide they need to try it themselves (hey it has a few upvotes -- it must have worked for some people, right?).

Now, if I have enough reputation I can trivially edit their question and then be allowed to change my vote; but to me that seems like cheating the system in an unintended way.

I think a better method would be to unlock the votes if you leave a comment. Or have the vote message say, your vote is locked until you leave a comment saying "Changing vote" followed by a reason (or had -1/+1 that is opposite your original vote; then you are allowed to change your vote to that).

I know this is similar to other requests:

Isn't the "vote too old to be changed" a little too eager?

Request change in behaviour: Vote too old to be changed, unless post is edited

but I think that having vote locking is a good feature; just maybe relax it following a user leaving a comment in a way similar to how its relaxed after the answer is edited.

Otherwise, I think I'm going to have to seriously cut back on voting.

Update (9 years later by a different person):

The feature request that suggests specific changes should not be considered as a duplicate of discussion about similar issue that even doesn’t have the same proposal.

Comments are a part of content (even if they considered as second-class citizens). If any content is changed (similar to current post edits) since the user’s original vote, votes should be allowed to be changed as well.

The system should reflect the current opinion of users, support dynamic update of users views and do not encourage cheating by doing minor editing.


Comments can be deleted easily. This could be used to entirely bypass vote-locking, and abusing votes is prevented for good reason.

  • Editing of the post also can be used to bypass vote-locking. I am not aware about good reason for locking votes. “we all have the right to change our minds about any topic, for any reason, and hence vote and re-vote accordingly.” From meta.stackexchange.com/questions/171694/… May 16 at 11:50
  • @MichaelFreidgeim But there's a history of what happened that's public to everyone with edits and you need 2k rep to even edit without the edit needing to be reviewed, so it restricts the amount of abuse possible with this avenue. Comments can be left by anyone with 50 rep, so anyone who can downvote can abuse this opening and only moderators can see that a comment was left and then deleted.
    – Catija StaffMod
    May 17 at 13:28
  • @Catija, Are you sure that abuse is so dangerous? The locking votes due to scare of “tactical downvote” was introduced by Jeff initially, but already in 2010 waffles researched that it’s quite rare (meta.stackexchange.com/a/55898/163139). Also locking votes doesn’t prevent tactical downvote, but just make it a bit less attractive. “All this rule does is makes tactical downvoting more harmful to the victims” May 17 at 20:18
  • @MichaelFreidgeim I didn't say anything about tactical downvoting... to be clear... but that's an argument to get rid of the lock for votes entirely, not to make comments some sort of little-known get-out-of-jail-free card. I don't see why this specific avenue for skirting that rule should be allowed... and I'd also want to see data that isn't 11 years old before making any decisions.
    – Catija StaffMod
    May 17 at 20:21
  • @Catija, is “abuse” the ability to do “tactical downvote”? What are other reasons, that consider changing votes as abuse? IMHO locking votes is unnecessary restriction and I (as many others, who voted on similar requests like meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6250/… ) prefer to remove it completely. I found this feature-request as a compromise between those who wants to remove vote locks completely and those who wants to have some reason(like change of content) to allow the vote change. May 17 at 21:28

Simply leave a comment saying that you tried it and it's not working.

The votes are a powerful deciding factor for some people, and should be taken into account, but another user that comes along later and tries to implement the solution should look at the comments and the votes. If you feel the error in the answer could be corrected, suggest an edit (or edit it directly if you have the privilege).

While it is possible to use the edit and revote method, this is discouraged like any other abuse of the voting system.


You should only upvote if it's working, only if you're sure it's correct one. When you're 2k (and you are on Stack Overflow), you can add trivial edit to answer you want to downvote and then downvote it. It is cheating, but it is allowed, nothing restricted. Just do it, and next time be sure you're upvoting answers you're sure about their functionality

  • 1
    The rules should not be restrictive and encourage cheating. May 16 at 11:52

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