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?


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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