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Are there any voting limits?

I downvoted an answer to one of my questions and then realized later that I read the answer wrong and that it was correct. I went to upvote it and it wouldn't let me. It said:

Vote too old to be changed, unless this answer is edited.

Any clue as to what this is about?


2 Answers 2


The time between when you first voted and then tried to change your vote has been too long.

The clock which tracks this length of time has expired, your vote is now locked.

You can now only change your vote when the answer has been edited. Editing a post resets the clock.

Be careful though. When you get the next chance, do not just undo your vote if you're only going to cast in the opposite direction. That would be two (2) moves. Instead, just reverse your vote if you so want to.

  • 6
    this is a stupid policy . . what is it trying to protect against
    – leora
    Oct 18, 2009 at 14:41
  • 5
    it's trying to protect against strategic downvoting Oct 18, 2009 at 14:47
  • 3
    Its more tactical than strategic.
    – cletus
    Oct 18, 2009 at 16:14
  • 1
    Perhaps, though, if this downvoting/upvoting occurs on your own question, then certainly there would be no incentive for strategic downvoting? (And thus, perhaps this locking of votes shouldn't apply to your own questions?)
    – Funka
    Dec 18, 2010 at 1:13
  • 3
    "Strategic downvoting" sounds like an imaginary problem with much smaller consequences than this flawed policy.
    – endolith
    Jan 16, 2011 at 1:03

Editing an answer will reset the change-your-vote timer. So if you have enough reputation, edit the answer and change your vote. If you don't, post the answer here. I bet someone will be willing to edit the answer for you so you can correct your vote.

Locking up/downvotes is a really bad idea imho. It's made downvoting much harder, which is a shame, because downvoting is the feedback that keeps the quality of answers high.

  • How is downvoting much harder now?
    – random
    Nov 1, 2009 at 15:28
  • 1
    For me downvoting is iterative; I think the post is bogus, but am open to learn that I was wrong instead of the poster. The cost of this iteration has gone up.
    – Andomar
    Nov 1, 2009 at 15:37
  • I too sometimes wish votes were not locked that soon (even though I can in fact edit, and hence change any vote). But well, everything has its reason. And though I find it hard to understand that people were (or: are?) actually gaming the system just to get some virtual reputation, its solution is fine with me: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6460/…
    – Arjan
    Nov 1, 2009 at 16:41

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