Currently, I get around 50 close votes per day. However, once I've used them all, even if 40 of those questions ended up getting closed, I'm still left with 0 close votes.

In my opinion, if the question got closed, it means my close vote was used effectively/properly.

My suggestion is to refund a close vote if the question gets closed.

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    Pimp up five sockuppets to 3k each, and you're ready to go ;-) – John Dvorak Jun 30 '13 at 6:26
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    I'm just curious, if you downvoted this, could you tell me why? (I know votes here are opinion-based; I'm interested to know the opinions, hence the [discussion] tag). – Danny Beckett Jun 30 '13 at 6:35
  • Because you want to close too many questions? – user000001 Jun 30 '13 at 6:37
  • @user000001 The way I see it, if I'm out of close votes for the day and I see a bad question, it doesn't make sense to ignore it. And flagging it instead just increases other peoples' workload. Plus, if the questions I vote on are getting closed, they're getting closed for a reason... that 4 other people agree with. – Danny Beckett Jun 30 '13 at 6:38
  • @DannyBeckett Fair enough... You asked for reasons from the downvoters and I offered one possible reason – user000001 Jun 30 '13 at 6:39
  • @user000001 Thanks for that, I do appreciate it! – Danny Beckett Jun 30 '13 at 6:40
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    @DannyBeckett it makes me wonder, however, how come you are out of the close votes in the first place? Even if you closed 40 questions from the queue (unlikely IMO), you're left with ten close votes for normal browsing. Also, there are rate limits to votes and comment votes too – John Dvorak Jun 30 '13 at 6:44
  • @JanDvorak My sleeping pattern is bizarre and I use SO a lot more than a lot of people; I've been online since midnight, it's now almost 8am, and I'll probably be online for another 8 hours or so. I'm not completely out of votes yet; still got 4 more for today. But I often have 0. – Danny Beckett Jun 30 '13 at 6:45
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    if you've been overflowing for 8 hours straight, perhaps you should do something else for a while for a change. Like, taking a walk at the dawn (or, the next time, a walk at midnight), listening to a great concert or album, or trying to actually sleep. – John Dvorak Jun 30 '13 at 6:50
  • @JanDvorak I like SO; I don't like walking at midnight (especially in this @#!%-hole of a country, that is the UK); and I work at night. Also, This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds. ;) – Danny Beckett Jun 30 '13 at 6:52
  • Aaaand, now I'm out of close votes! – Danny Beckett Jun 30 '13 at 7:11
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    That's pretty much the same as infinite number of close votes, I'm not sure it's a good idea. (well, it's a bad idea in my opinion) – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Jun 30 '13 at 7:14
  • @ShaWizDowArd It's not the same as an infinite number of close votes. It's rewarding correctly closed questions with another close vote. Vote badly = no extra votes. – Danny Beckett Jun 30 '13 at 7:15
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    @ShaWizDowArd I do plan to run in next year's mod election ;). I didn't this time round, since my rep is fairly low. – Danny Beckett Jun 30 '13 at 7:18
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    Note that one of the reasons for the daily 200 rep cap is to "encourage heavily active users to step outside once in a while". I think the close vote limit may serve a similar useful purpose. – Ben Lee Jun 30 '13 at 14:33

I agree with this suggestion (somewhat).

The close-vote queue is continuing to swell out of control (56.1k as I type), so obviously some measure is needed to increase the rate at which they can be cleared. This is one possible method; others include accumulating unused votes to be used later (so as not to waste votes when one is cut off from SO) and just increasing the close vote allocation. I think this solution is the best of them so far.

I do have some reservations, though. As mentioned by @JanDvorak in the question comments, just get five sockpuppets up to 3000... My suggestion for this is to initially refund only a fraction of used votes. This could start at 1/2 (that is, you're refunded 1 vote for every 2 closed questions that you voted on) and increase to 1 (every successful vote refunded) as you keep voting in sync with the community. The sockpuppets could still be an issue with this proposal, but the gradual scaling-up allows more time for them to be detected and, um, moderated.

(Note: It is mentioned here that we could safely return to the normal 40-vote system after the backlog is cleared. I disagree, and think these measures would need to be permanent; what's to stop another backlog?)

  • Um, this backlog was caused by the sudden introduction of the review queues, and it's been fluctuating ever since (initially above 60k). I doubt such a backlog will arise again if cleared. – Manishearth Jun 30 '13 at 7:03
  • @Manishearth Maybe it won't arise again; maybe it will. Safer to assume it will, IMO. – michaelb958 Jun 30 '13 at 7:04

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