We already have canonical answers on how Close Votes work and how Review queues work. This one is intended to hold one regarding their connection & interaction.

Close votes and Close Review are definitely connected, but the nature of the connection remains a mystery - which leads to confusion.

Specifically, Close votes and close Review votes appear to be one and the same:

  • The close reason selection UI is identical
  • "Previous votes" seen in the UI in both cases always have have the same number and distribution
  • The numbers of both types of votes appear to always be the same


  • Sometimes, discrepancies occur between the numbers
  • Voting to close initiates Close Review, but finishing the Close Review with "keep" doesn't make the Close Votes disappear

Which is counterintuitive and thus appears to be a bug (which, as the linked question showed, it is not) or a bias in the system.

So, how do the mechanisms interact? Specifically, how are the two close vote types related?

1 Answer 1


Close votes are distinct from close Review votes, although the two notions are closely connected. Identical UI makes this even more confusing.

  • When a user flags a question for closure / casts the initial close vote

    • The question goes into the Close Review queue
    • If the user has the close privilege, it also registers a close vote with the stated reason
      • regardless of whether the user used the "close" or "flag" link (so, for such users, the two are identical as far as closure is concerned)
    • If the user doesn't have the privilege (and thus can only flag), it only sets the suggested close reason for the review item
  • When further close votes are cast

    • they do not add to close Review votes
    • The "previous votes" in the close reason selection UI are taken from existing close votes
  • When close Review votes are cast

    • they also register as close votes
    • The "previous votes" in the close reason selection UI are taken from existing close votes
  • When an "Edit" is chosen and submitted from the Review UI while the review is still active

    • An Edit vote is registered in review results
    • The review is instantly complete with "keep open" result (see below for consequences)
  • When the close criteria are met during a review
    I.e. (as of this writing) 5 close votes (=(due to the above) 5 votes to close, regardless of their origin) or a binding vote by a ♦ mod (or gold badge holder, if it's a dupe).

    • the question is put on hold
    • close votes disappear
    • review is marked complete, its results can still be viewed
      • the review results only show actions taken from the Review UI, not actions taken outside of review, such as close votes cast directly or flags raised
    • close reason is selected from close votes (details; (strangely, this doesn't appear to be documented anywhere else))
  • When the review reaches consensus to keep open
    (As of this writing, this means 3 "keep open" votes or a binding vote by a ♦ mod.)

    • review is marked complete etc. (see above)
    • existing close votes do not disappear
      • but are subject to be aged away
      • when another close vote is cast
        • a new, empty, Close Votes Review entry is created for the same question. Reason selection UI shows all close votes that still exist.
        • if close criteria are met - with "old" and "new" votes combined -
          • the question is still closed, ignoring any opposing votes in Review
            This essentially makes the system biased towards closing questionable questions. (On a brighter note, this also compensates for the similarly powerful "Edit" Review option.)

(Credits: based on https://meta.stackoverflow.com/a/300851/648265)

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