Currently, the number of "votes cast" excludes votes on deleted content. Once something gets deleted that you voted on, that vote vanishes from your stats. This of course happens frequently especially with down-votes - if you're a good voter, stuff you downvote often ends up getting deleted.

Seeing as the idea behind the public display of total votes you've cast is to encourage voting, is this really fair?

Also, doesn't it distort greatly all voting stats, especially when looking at candidates for moderator elections and such?

  • Perhaps deletion should be entirely replaced by hiding things instead. As in, keep all the records but censor the "deleted" stuff. You could even bring something back to life/visibility if you thought it was unfairly deleted or something. Anyway, I agree, not that I know anything at all...
    – karnok
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 11:35
  • 7
    @user that's how it happens at the moment. 10k+ users can see deleted content
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 11:36
  • 2
    For linking purposes: Eeeek! I'm missing 650 downvotes, and 300 upvotes
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 11:57
  • 3
    Keeping them around could facilitate a gold badge that takes a couple of years to get as well.
    – user50049
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 7:57

3 Answers 3


Starting with the next build, votes on deleted posts will be included in the profile counts. This will also apply to the various voting badges to match: Civic Duty, Electorate, Suffrage, Vox Populi. Also, the badge progress on review should remain accurate.

Downvoting bad content (which usually ends up being deleted) is something we want to encourage. Penalizing you for a good practice here is definitely not our intention, so we're making this change for great justice.

  • 13
    So, uh, I think you guys screwed up somewhere. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 22:30
  • 1
    Ohhh boy, I like this! I just almost doubled my downvote count from 2,160 to 4,149
    – Pekka
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 22:44
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn - yeah, those badges will be corrected in just a minute... Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 22:48
  • 1
    Aww, for 10 happy minutes I was a proud undeserved holder of Vox Populi here. +1 for quick fix, though. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 22:54
  • @NickCraver So when do these votes show up in the all-time count? Or will they? I see them on my profile, but not on the users/voters page. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 23:33
  • @NickCraver Yeah, as usual on Friday, the total number of votes shown here: serverfault.com/users?tab=voters&filter=all went down. Shouldn't the total go up at some point to show all votes, including on deleted posts? Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 1:55
  • 1
    @Ward - this will be fixed in the next build...sorry, missed this, busy writing some open source stuff for you guys :) Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 11:02
  • Did you consider making clear how many of those votes were on posts that have meanwhile been deleted? (I guess you saw I am a hater because of people do not understand voting patterns properly. Though I never look at those figures, I also never realized that votes on deleted posts are included there.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 22:19
  • @Arjan not really, a global count suffices. Rarely do people want or need a breakdown, that's a top 0.01% feature that most would find confusing. Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 0:48
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn What do you mean?
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 16:58
  • 2
    @Fiksdal: There was a snafu which resulted in a big bunch of Vox Populi badges being erroneously awarded. Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 17:08
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn OK, thanks.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 17:09

Rather than including them in the normal vote count I would rather see votes on deleted questions/answers recorded as a separate total of "ghost votes" (perhaps with their own badges as Tim Post seems to be suggesting in the comments?)

My logic here is that deleted things no longer count toward reputation, so they shouldn't count toward the (normal) vote-count driven stuff. At the same time we do want to encourage people to vote more, so why not have some really difficult-to-get badges to reward people for voting on stuff that got erased from history? (After all, we're keeping it in the database anyway!)


Speaking as someone who votes a lot, yeah, it's a bit of a bummer to cast 40 votes in a day and see your total only go up by 30.

I don't know that very many people would go to the extent I did of setting up a spreadsheet (so I could tell whether it was votes this week, this month, or whenever, that were disappearing) to track their votes, but before I had the spreadsheet it was really bothering me when I thought votes were disappearing. At least now I know they're disappearing and I can ask questions (like I did) to try to learn more.

As was mentioned on the "Eek!" question, the site is still "benefiting" from votes on deleted questions, so I heartily endorse including them in the count.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .