I've just downvoted an anwser with a comment explaining my downvote, the poster edited his answer, but I can't revert my vote because "vote is too old to be changed unless post is edited"

I think what happened is that he edited his post during the 5mn initial "furtive editing" period, so the answer doesn't appear as edited, which causes the system to deny me the right of changing my vote.

If that helps, the answer I tried to un-downvote is here

  • 3
    There's a ton of meta questions related to the "vote too old to be changed" thing. I'd like to group these together with a tag, but can't decide what would be a good name. changing-votes? vote-too-old-to-be-changed? Any opinions?
    – Jonik
    Commented Sep 29, 2009 at 10:24
  • 7
    How can this be a "by-design" thing ?? it seems to me that the cannot-change-despite-the-post-being-edited-coz-of-the-initial-grace-period-thing is indubitably broken, and that the current fix (edit+vote if you can, no fix at all if you are below 3000rep) is not a viable solution.
    – Brann
    Commented Oct 1, 2009 at 12:20
  • About tagging - vote-too-old is now used in a few questions, so I'll use that too.
    – Jonik
    Commented Nov 3, 2009 at 22:56
  • 12
    The "status-bydesign" tag needs to be split into two, adding a new "status-wontfix". The current algorithm is clearly broken!
    – Ether
    Commented Nov 4, 2009 at 17:58

2 Answers 2


This makes sense.

I am relaxing the vote undo window to 5 minutes to coincide with the editing grace window.

  • 10
    Why do you even stop people from changing their votes?
    – Catharsis
    Commented Feb 9, 2010 at 0:50
  • 9
    there are soooo many exploits around undoing votes. Think about it a little while. Commented Feb 9, 2010 at 1:12
  • 8
    what if you removed the vote-undo time limit users with 3k+ rep? those users could undo the vote if they wanted, via edit+undo. or do you specifically want the heavier action to discourage the practice?
    – Kip
    Commented Feb 9, 2010 at 2:44
  • 2
    I understand that undoing votes on answers to other people's questions that you are competing with is open for exploitation. However, should you not be able to undo votes to answers on your own questions? (Where such incentive plays no part?)
    – Funka
    Commented Dec 18, 2010 at 1:16
  • 6
    What are these exploits?
    – ilovefigs
    Commented Jan 6, 2012 at 13:59
  • 1
    @JeffAtwood That's ok then... "You can't do this unless you spot the way to game the system" - Why not just limit to those who can't edit or perhaps just make it work in the first place?
    – Basic
    Commented Jun 30, 2012 at 0:25
  • 1
    Would be nice to have the ability to undo my vote. I just downvoted something by accident, didn't notice it until later (my points had gone down by 1 which is why I noticed it at all) and trying to undo my mistake I have to ask the author to edit the post. If this possibly to people with a certain amount of points, I'd be OK with that.
    – Peeter
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 9:42
  • 1
    @JeffAtwood Well, I just upvoted a correct result that was "improved" three minutes later with an incorrect explanation. Now, my vote sits on a wrong answer which is the only upvoted answer. This is NOT a good design.
    – Phira
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 23:38
  • 3
    This is a poor solution to the problem. There is no notification when the edit occurs, you'd have to be stalking the answer in order to notice it was fixed in time to undo your downvote.
    – Yakk
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 14:03
  • All these years later, I still can't think of any "exploits around undoing votes". Maybe I'm just too nice. Commented Dec 17, 2023 at 15:58
  • @KarlKnechtel There were cases where, after the Community user edited many posts during a mass edit resulting in prior votes being unlocked, users saw their reputation suddenly dip because a user had decided to go through and remove all their past upvotes they cast on specific users' posts (targeted vote removals). Commented May 1 at 22:37

When you vote the first time, up or down, the starter's gun pistolwhips the air. As the crack rounds the bend and smacks your left ear, that's about when the vote is locked in.

If they happen to sneak in some more content within the 5-minute grace period, your first vote still sticks with all the gunpowder residue for forensics.

You'll now have to wait for them to edit outside the five minutes, or edit it yourself, and then recast your vote.

But remember, don't just undo a vote to cast the other way, that counts as two vote actions. Just vote the other direction from the next crack.

  • 16
    It would definitely make sense if also grace period edits would allow votes to be changed freely. Having to edit someone's answer yourself just to change your vote would be a horrible "hack".
    – Jonik
    Commented Sep 28, 2009 at 11:28
  • 6
    @Jonik: s/would be/is/ ... but it is also the recommended recourse: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19940/… Commented Sep 28, 2009 at 12:32
  • 8
    @Jonik I have done this before. It was awful, I felt all dirty after. Commented Sep 29, 2009 at 8:28
  • 1
    But what's wrong with two vote actions? The second vote would still be in the window from the most recent edit.
    – Ether
    Commented Oct 10, 2009 at 3:07

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