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Cannot retract downvote if post has been edited within first 5 minutes of posting

I recently voted on an answer that had just been posted, but then (during the 5 minute invisible edit grace period) it was edited in a way that caused me to want to retract my vote. However, I get this message:

Your vote is now locked in unless this answer is edited

Shouldn't these hidden edits unlock votes in the same way that visible edits do?

To reproduce (I guess you'll need two users):

In the first five minutes:

  • User A posts a once sentence answer
  • User B votes on the answer
  • User A edits the answer (since this edit is in the first five minutes, there isn't any edit history)

There is now an answer that doesn't say it has been edited, that user B has voted on. All is well, until:

  • After some time (say 7 minutes after User B voted), User B sees the edited answer, and wants to change or retract their vote. But when they try to do so:
  • The system rejects the vote change because the answer "has not been edited"

This bug has been reported before (and closed as completed), but the workaround only works if User B notices the edit in the first five minutes. Additionally, the workaround causes the error message to be incorrect.

Expected: Ideally the vote change succeeds, because the answer has been edited. Or, less desirably, the error message instead reads "your vote is now locked because you voted 5 minutes ago"

Actual: Vote fails with the incorrect error message "Vote is now locked in unless this answer is edited".

  • Doesn't the linked post only include a workaround rather than a fix? The bug still exists if I don't notice for 6 minutes Feb 16, 2012 at 0:33
  • 5
    New bugs really shouldn't be closed as duplicates of other status-completed bugs; it doesn't make sense. In this case because Jeff's "fix" doesn't actually fix this case Feb 16, 2012 at 1:37
  • 1
    I've reopened the question. It took me a bit to figure out what you meant, though. Can you edit to clarify what behaviour you're seeing and what you expected to see instead? (E.g. did you wait longer than the 5-minute retraction grace period before attempting to remove your vote?) Thanks.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Feb 23, 2012 at 5:10
  • 1
    A step-by-step process to repeat the problem would be ideal.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 23, 2012 at 5:13
  • @AnnaLear: Sorry it wasn't clear before - I've added a longer description of the problem. Feb 23, 2012 at 23:31
  • @NickCraver So it is. Sorry I didn't find that in my search before posting :) I like this answer Feb 23, 2012 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


I see now that this has been reported before, and closed as by-design. It seems silly to have an incorrect error message by design.

However, it also sounds like the hidden edits in the grace period aren't tracked in the database, meaning a fix instead of a workaround could be complex.

With that in mind, I thought this solution was pretty elegant (paraphrased a little):

Perhaps the easy solution is to change hidden edits to edits within the first five minutes on posts with no votes.

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