A hypothetical situation:

  1. I downvote a question or answer and leave a comment as the pop-up notification suggests.
  2. The author responds to my comment in another comment explaining or clarifying something I missed or didn't understand.
  3. I go to remove my downvote, but can't because the question/answer has not been edited and my vote is locked.

Should comments, and in particular comments from the author, unlock votes?

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    Votes should never be locked in the first place. People make mistakes or change their minds as they research and try things. – endolith Nov 18 '11 at 14:58

Actually, this might useful in the other direction:

Assume an answer looks good, so I upvote it. But then someone comments and points out a critical flaw which shows that this answer actually can't work. Now I can't remove my upvote.

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  • Interesting. Never looked at it from this way before. – ChrisF Nov 18 '11 at 15:12

If the post needed clarifying then that clarification should be edited into the post not left as a comment.

At this point your vote is unfrozen and you can revert or change it.

In fact you can use your down-vote as an incentive for the OP to update the post - say that if they incorporate the comments into post and address your issues you'll remove the down-vote (or even give the post an up-vote).

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    This is not always a fix. Case in point: I downvote, comment "this is a bad answer because X does Y." OP replies "No, X doesn't do Y in this case, you're mistaken." I reply "Whoops, my bad, sorry the stupid broken system won't let me remove my downvote." :( – Coderer Jul 3 '13 at 10:32
  • @Coderer - that's my point. If you missed the vital information then the question does need clarifying. The OP editing the question will unfreeze your vote. – ChrisF Jul 3 '13 at 11:01
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    I didn't miss vital information, I just didn't know something that an actually-experienced person would have already known. I think it's fair to say that every answer need not start from first principles. I should have done my homework before criticizing, and I didn't, but now the answer author (who was right) gets penalized instead of me (who was wrong). – Coderer Jul 3 '13 at 11:08
  • Put it another way: the answer should not have to have "ETA: Some idiot thought X, which is not true." appended to it before I'm allowed to sheepishly correct myself. – Coderer Jul 3 '13 at 11:10

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