Old votes on posts are locked in and can't be changed - unless the post is edited after the vote is cast.

Since votes can be unlocked by editing, users have discovered a loophole where they edit the post to unlock their vote, retract or change their vote, and (optionally) undo or roll back the edit.

This leads to some confusing ("Hey, I got unupvoted on a question that hasn't been voted on in 10 months!") and a lot of junk edits. If the user doesn't roll their edit back, there is some (likely) meaningless change in the post (yes, it's possible it was a constructive edit, but nothing enforces this).

Additionally, it has been discovered that suggested edits unlock votes, even before they are approved! In this case, these aren't only junk edits, these are junk edits other people have to deal with.


  1. Fix the bug allowing suggested edits to unlock votes before they are approved.
  2. Disable unlocking your own vote by directly editing a post.
  3. Allow users with the edit privilege to suggest an edit to posts they've voted on, and only unlock their vote once the edit is approved.

How is this an improvement?

  1. Fixes a bug
  2. (and 3) Allows users to get their votes unlocked, but doesn't allow them to throw junk edits at a post to do so.

If users want to unlock their vote, they can suggest something, and get it approved. If they have an edit to make and don't care about unlocking their vote, they can just do it.

  • +1 I think this is a good proposal, editing posts for the sake of changing the vote bumps the post in the activity list when it shouldn't as well as causing cluttering. Commented Sep 8, 2012 at 16:51
  • 1
    This is not an exact duplicate of the linked post. I've edited it to highlight the difference and hopefully remove the overlap. Voting to reopen.
    – yoozer8
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 14:04
  • If you manually undo the edit you made (don't roll back!) the edit will not show in the revision history. Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


Having a vote unlocked simply because an edit was suggested, but not approved is clearly a bug. A suggested edit is not an edit until it gets approved; therefore, votes should still be locked, until the suggested edit is approved.

Self-unlocking a vote could still be legitimate.
Suppose I down-vote a question because it is a bad question, but then I notice that (5 minutes later) the OP added in a comment more details about what s/he really meant. At that point, I can edit the question to incorporate what the OP said in her/his comment, to be sure those details are visible to everybody, including who would vie to close the question. As the OP made clear what s/he really meant, and I think the question is not that bad, I could remove my down-vote, and possibly change it in an up-vote.

Locking votes until the author of the post edits it would mean I could not change my vote if another user made the question clearer (maybe incorporating what the author of the post said in a comment). This is not different from the self-unlocking case.

  • 1
    You could simply ask the author (or other helpful user) to edit their contribution into the question.
    – yoozer8
    Commented Sep 8, 2012 at 18:32
  • 3
    It is not required, and there is nothing that discourages editing a question to make it clear, especially if the edit just incorporates what the author of the post already written in a comment. Discouraging users to make a post more useful for other users is not something I would like to see happen.
    – apaderno
    Commented Sep 8, 2012 at 18:46
  • 1
    Let's focus more on the positive contributions to the site rather than on ways to lock people out of the system just because there's a possibility that someone may abuse it. +1 kiamlaluno's example is way more common.
    – jmort253
    Commented Sep 8, 2012 at 19:01
  • This isn't to discourage edits, this is to discourage junk edits whose only purpose is to unlock a vote. If you want to edit a post to improve it, this won't prevent that at all.
    – yoozer8
    Commented Sep 8, 2012 at 21:12
  • It doesn't discourage any edit at all; it just doesn't allow users to change their vote after editing a post, which could be perfectly legitimate, as in the case I described.
    – apaderno
    Commented Sep 8, 2012 at 21:55
  • 1
    @Jim: If anything, it would discourage anything from happening. It's bad enough that we have to wait for a response from the asker on a bad question. Having to wait for them or someone else to edit just so I can take back a vote would be counter-productive. Not everyone has the sense to respond and edit. Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 15:23
  • @JeffMercado If you're taking back your vote, that suggests that there already was a response leading you to want to take it back, but it just hasn't been incorporated into the question yet.
    – yoozer8
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 15:29

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