It would be nice not to lock a vote for first hour or so because it is quite common one can make a mistake and want to reverse their vote. Or, at least the original poster is nice enough to comment on this question to clarify it. It happened twice to me today after 10+ months as a member here. I never came across it and I thought is this a new feature?

The real problem is explained in the question Undo an up/down vote after a comment is left

My Scenarios:

I downvoted the following question because I thought it was a very basic question and I commented to OP, "did you do research before posting this?". The OP relied "yes". Then I dug a little and could not find a clear answer myself. So I answered his question. Later, I tried to remove my downvote but I could not.

Scenario 1

On the second occasion, I upvoted an answer but realized later on that the answer did not quite work for me. The way I got foiled was the top voted answer was not voted as the accepted answer which was a better solution. After read the OP's comment thats it worked, I implemented it and it was the right solution. Now I wanted to undo my upvote on second best answer but I could not. It is highly unlikely that the answer I want to remove my upvote from will be edited because it is an older post, and secondly SO advices not to edit your answer unless absolutely necessary. I should be able to take back my upvote just to help other visitors, the right question is upvoted. Here is that screenshot:

Scenario 2


Is it possible that user are allowed to reverse their up/down vote for 1 hour after they have voted?

By the way, I could reverse my up/down vote before, I dont know what happened or maybe I just never came across it.

  • 6
    I'm not sure about the other cases, but I don't think this would be a good idea for downvotes on answers. It would make it too easy to set your own answer apart from others, earn reputation, then reverse your downvotes.
    – Dennis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 18:21
  • How much reputaion I need to reverse my vote?
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 18:33
  • You don't need any reputation to reverse your vote. But OP's tend to accept the most upvoted answers, and even user users are more likely to upvote the answer at the top (pile-on voting).
    – Dennis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 18:36
  • 1
    You can reverse your vote for 5 minutes. An hour is too long.
    – user154510
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 18:48
  • IC, that's why I never saw this problem. I used to do it and I never see the problem. Now I know the lock is after 5min.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 19:21
  • 1
    Related: the official reason for the lock, like @Dennis explained.
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 20:07

2 Answers 2


I initially upvoted an answer, only to realize 20 minutes later that it actually didn't answer the OP's question.

So I answered it myself, and wanted NOT TO DOWNVOTE, but to remove my initial upvote.

Please extend this window, or don't apply the vote lock provision at all to upvotes.


On the first scenario, your down vote is still valid. OP should edit their question to share their research, and when they do you'll be able to retract your vote. You can post another comment asking them to do just that.

On the second scenario, you shouldn't have been as hasty. Next time check that the answer is correct before you up vote it.

  • I did try the solution before upvoting and there was reference code that showed correct result. It was just complicated. The first answer said 'you can try something like this', that fooled me because he was not sure himself and it was not marked a accepted answer.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 18:30
  • 2
    @Dave Don't worry about it, it's just a vote, the community will cancel it out soon.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 18:40
  • In the fist case, that would be an inane request which would serve only to be annoying to the the new user. As for your remark on the second example, I think that level of care is silly; a vote isn't a big deal so I don't see why it should be long-considered and then be a lifelong commitment. Even if he did do something wrong by voting so quickly, why is it beneficial not to let him fix the mistake made in haste? I can't really relate to your perspective here at all. Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 18:55
  • 1
    @Mike What? I'm answering to a [feature-request], not to the general need to retract an incorrect vote, there is already a small window where you can retract your vote, and if you absolutely must retract if after the window expires you can always edit the post yourself. And obviously a single vote isn't a big deal, which is exactly why I answered as I did. OP is asking for a new feature, so I assume he really wants to retract his votes, and I'm letting him now how he can do that (1st case) and that it's silly (2nd case).
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 19:00
  • BTW somehow I skipped the 5min window pointed to in the OP comments. So what I found is that window is too short. I must say I was very quick in trying to reverse my vote. I never went away somewhere and then came back. I just tried the solution and it did not work so tried to reverse my vote. continue ....
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 19:33
  • @Dave The important thing: It's just one vote, don't worry about it. If you can help improve the question or answer, by all means go for it, but incorrect votes usually get cancelled out by the community in minutes.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 19:36
  • A 5 min window is good enough for a pure mistake. You make a mistake, clicked it and then you can reverse it. Good enough. I am talking about a deeper mistake. If you downvote because u think is wrong with question, by the time the OP get back to you might already take more than 5 min. So that windows does not address that problem. In most cases, I see question downvoted and then the OP ask after clarification, can someone reverse their votes just because he clarified it in comments but he does not know the vote is locked after 5 min. So he obviously does not think it should be this way.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 19:36
  • @Dave: A 5-minute window is not sufficient for some types of mistakes. Please see my comment Commented Sep 30, 2012 at 4:51

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