This is not a duplicate of What is the justification for locking votes?. It doesn't address the suggestion brought up here to allow a certain limited quota of "unvotes" per week.

It happens rarely, but sometimes new information comes to light on posts I have voted on that make me want to change my vote - for example, a comment may provide new information, or may bring up a different perspective I hadn't considered.

Currently, I can not change my vote after a certain period of time, after which it is "locked in". The only way to change a vote once it is locked in is by editing the post.

That's a harmful workaround, as it bumps the question to the top. Also it's an unfair workaround in that users without editing privileges can't apply it.

Users should be allowed to change one locked-in vote per day.

This should account for most erroneous votes, while still preventing the possible misuse that is the reason why the lock exists in the first place.

  • The reason for the lock in is to avoid gaming the system let me see if I can find a link – Richard Tingle Mar 21 '14 at 13:52
  • I want to note that I posted this specifically at gamedev where I could not find a similar question (a smaller community). I didn't think of it as a feature required generally for any stackexchange site. It is suitable for gamedev imho cause implementation can be sometimes very complex and also the results are of somewhat of an artistic nature at times so further time to think things over may be very useful at times. – AturSams Mar 21 '14 at 13:55
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    Implementations can be complex on Stack Overflow too so I don't see a reason to make a distinction. – Louis Mar 21 '14 at 13:57
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    Ok, I can't find it (grumble grumble) so in short: downvotes are really gameable; downvote everything to make yours rank higher then remkve your votes and the evidence. Upvotes are harder to game but still nkt impossible – Richard Tingle Mar 21 '14 at 14:01
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    It's worth noting that the vast majority of the software that runs stack exchange is the same for all sites. If you wanted to propose something purely for game dev you'd need an extraordinarily good argument – Richard Tingle Mar 21 '14 at 14:05
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    I agree with this. A really tight limit, like the suggested 1 a day, should suffice for most all cases, and it's hard to see how it could be used to game the system. – Pekka Mar 21 '14 at 14:07
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    Simple solution: Upvote only if you took the time to validate it. No need to rush. – juergen d Mar 21 '14 at 14:07
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    @Pëkka I'm not seeing how the gaming problem would be prevented with a 1 day delay. I believe the gaming issue happens much faster than 1 day. – Louis Mar 21 '14 at 14:09
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    @ArthurWulfWhite: At some point you implement the answer. You can upvote then and not before. And if your time is so precious that you can't take the time to check an answer before upvoting - why do you bother so much that you would take the time to remove an upvote? – juergen d Mar 21 '14 at 14:13
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    @ArthurWulfWhite: It's your argument I don't get. You say: I don't have time to upvote later after verifying, but I would make time to remove a vote. – juergen d Mar 21 '14 at 14:17
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    @juergend Why does something have to be terrible in order for it to be changed? That is like saying is that splinter really detrimental to your health that you need to remove it? Why can't something be changed only so it will be more convenient? Are SSD really needed when we have magnetic drives? Is it really terrible to continue using magnetic drives? Why are people still willing to pay extra for SSD when magnetic drives are widely available? Convenience is also important. Something doesn't have to be terrible for it be improved especially with UX. – AturSams Mar 21 '14 at 14:23
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    I edited it. It's a radical edit, check it out and change it if you don't like it - it's your question. But I think it now gets down to the meat of the suggestion, which was a bit obscured in the previous version. The premise that votes can be snap decisions applies on Meta, too ;) – Pekka Mar 21 '14 at 14:40
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    People, this is not a duplicate. @gnat et al, please vote to reopen. – Pekka Mar 21 '14 at 14:43
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    @Pëkka per my reading, revs 3 through 6 clearly de-duped this question (voted reopen) – gnat Mar 21 '14 at 14:48

I don't see a particular need for this feature.

If you are looking at an answer you cannot immediately judge is worthy of an up or down vote, rather than guessing and coming back later to verify you should just abstain. If you cannot afford to invest the time into researching the veracity of an answer now, but intend to do so later (and potentially change your vote, per your feature request), then you should just wait until later to vote.

If you accidentally upvote a bad answer (or downvote a good one) and it gets locked in, the community will in most cases correct it in the long run.

EDIT, based on some commentary discussion: I am primarily opposed to this feature because I think it allows more cavalier voting (even if only slightly, due to the proposed throttle), and it is my opinion that such behavior shouldn't be encouraged. I believe votes are an important part of the network, and also that new features should help guide users towards correct, beneficial use of the site whenever possible.

  • so you never have the desire to change a vote, say when receiving new information (like in a comment) or seeing a different viewpoint that changes your mind? Never ever? I don't believe that. Re "the community will correct it" - that's true, but a downvote carries great significance to many SO users, and wanting to remove it if it turns out to be unjustified can be of some importance. Add to that that high-rep users can already work around the restriction by editing the post - which is unfair and harmful, as the question gets bumped for no reason. Fixing this would be a small change. – Pekka Mar 21 '14 at 15:56
  • Of course I have, but extremely rarely. I am generally very careful with my votes. In the few occasions I can ever remember wanting to, it wasn't a big deal because the aggregate vote had already gone strongly in the same direction. This just isn't a feature that seems worth the engineering effort, in my opinion. (On the subject of high-rep users introducing an edit to change their vote, I don't think that's proper use of the edit feature and I'd argue that high-rep users should know better; but I realize that's perhaps overly idealistic of me, especially on larger sites). – user155595 Mar 21 '14 at 16:02
  • We don't know whether there is any engineering effort in this at all. For all we know, it could be a change in a configuration setting. – Pekka Mar 21 '14 at 16:04
  • That's true, but that argument goes both ways. You can't say "fixing this would be a small change" either (unless you do know things about the back-end implementation; I certainly don't). – user155595 Mar 21 '14 at 16:05
  • That's true, we don't know either way. (Re high-rep users [ab]using the edit feature - it's pretty common and accepted practice. And understandably so, in my opinion.) – Pekka Mar 21 '14 at 16:06
  • I too rarely wanted to un-upvote (maybe twice) and even more seldom (once) had to revert a commit I made in git but although I could have done it manually, it was nice and convenient that it could be done with one simple command. If it happened to you rarely, it possibly happened to each of us rarely so multiply that by the number of users. – AturSams Mar 21 '14 at 16:18
  • Fundamentally I am opposed to a feature that allows (if slightly, due to the proposed throttle) users to be more cavalier with their votes, since votes are an important part of the SE network and should be considered carefully, in my opinion. – user155595 Mar 21 '14 at 16:20
  • But it is precisely the opposite that I am hoping for. I realize I sometimes make mistakes with my votes (not often). Perhaps 1/100? Maybe less, mayhap more. If I do make a mistake I wish to correct it. User that are cavalier with their votes will likely continue to be. They do not care to correct one mistake per day or per week. This feature will likely only be used by people who consider their vote meaningful if not to themselves than to others. – AturSams Mar 21 '14 at 16:23
  • Yes, that kind of mistake happens, and that's why we have a community so that aggregate votes trend in the proper direction and one user can't skew the whole system by making a completely understandable mis-call once in a while. – user155595 Mar 21 '14 at 16:26
  • Yes and I am sure it works if questions get lots of attention but that is not really the case in GDSE. we have more of a long tail. I don't think questions always get plenty of attention. An upvote on a question that looks promising (although it's incorrect) may deter users from participating and offering their alternative and possibly correct solutions. It is often the easy or opinion based questions that get "love" from the users and it is often not correcting the situation but instead creating a problem. – AturSams Mar 21 '14 at 16:33
  • I have absolutely no confidence that this feature would improve user engagement on GDSE. The engagement issues on that site are far broader; users who are deterred from posting an alternative to answer based on a single vote on another answer are a deeper issue. Even if they would suddenly convert, en masse, and post answers when that one vote was reversed, that's still fixing a symptom and not a cause. – user155595 Mar 21 '14 at 16:44

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