I am curious why SE Data Explorer is telling me there are closed questions with no close votes

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I don't think my query is wrong, but I suppose it could be:

select Closevotes, count(*)
    select (select count(*) from votes where postid = posts.id and votetypeid = 6) as [CloseVotes], *
    from posts 
    where posttypeid = 1 and not closeddate is null
) as t
group by Closevotes
order by closevotes

I checked a few of the questions which had 0 close votes, and all the ones I checked were closed by 1-4 users. None were closed by 5 users.

The only explanation I can possibly think of is that the process which expires close/reopen votes is removing these votes, even though the question got closed.

Would someone be able to verify this for me?


As Frédéric pointed out below, almost all the questions which have 1-4 close votes have either less than 100 views, or the votes are fairly recent.

  • 2
    Deleted? Moderator closed?
    – user7116
    Mar 5, 2012 at 19:48
  • 1
    @Rachel, do all of these questions have more than 100 views? Because close votes only expire above this threshold, so it would give a solid hint that your explanation is the right one. Mar 5, 2012 at 19:59
  • @sixlettervariables Yes, I'm sorry you're right it's closed not deleted.
    – Rachel
    Mar 5, 2012 at 20:00
  • @FrédéricHamidi I forgot about the 100-view limit before the timer starts. That explains the questions that land in the 1-4 vote range, and was the one piece that was bothering me about this assumption.
    – Rachel
    Mar 5, 2012 at 20:05
  • So, it seems we're keeping on expiring close votes cast on already closed questions. An explanation might be that, since these questions might be reopened someday, "freezing" the close votes would be "unfair" vis-a-vis the other questions in the system. That would make this behavior [status-by-design]. Mar 5, 2012 at 20:15
  • You can now look at the PostHistory table for PostHistoryTypeId = 10.
    – starball
    Jan 19, 2023 at 22:48

1 Answer 1


The Data Explorer only includes close votes that haven't expired, i.e. it only includes active close votes.

Close votes gradually expire, including those that have already contributed to a question's closing. So what you're seeing here are 1985 questions whose close votes have expired since the question's ClosedDate.

  • 2
    Why aren't successful close votes considered expired at the time of closing?
    – Tim Stone
    Mar 6, 2012 at 1:59
  • Will the votes expire even if the question was closed/reopened by 5 votes as opposed to 1-4?
    – Rachel
    Mar 6, 2012 at 2:06
  • 3
    @Tim Yea, technically expiring successful close votes serves no purpose, but it makes no difference. Note that the votes aren't actually deleted in our database - they just aren't shipped to the Data Explorer. If you want to use the Data Explorer to query for expired close votes, that's a legitimate [feature-request] though.
    – Emmett
    Mar 6, 2012 at 16:34
  • 1
    @Rachel Yes, close vote expiration is independent of the number of votes required to close the question.
    – Emmett
    Mar 6, 2012 at 16:35
  • For reference purposes, waffles already declined such a request. I personally don't mind much either way, but it's just a bit weird that it's currently somewhat of a toss-up on whether or not the votes for a successfully closed question appear in the Votes table.
    – Tim Stone
    Mar 6, 2012 at 16:42
  • @Tim That request was to make unsuccessful close votes available. If it were amended to ask for successful close votes, I suspect that waffles would find it more reasonable, though perhaps not very high-priority.
    – Emmett
    Mar 6, 2012 at 16:46

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