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This is not a duplicate of I'm out of close votes. Can I use moderator flags instead? because that is a support question asking if one can use moderator attention flags to indicate that questions should be closed. This is a feature request asking for the ability to use recommend closure flags (which feed questions into close review, and don't go to moderators) when one is out of close votes.

Currently, flagging for closure is treated the same as casting a close vote for users with the vote-to-close privilege. From what I can see, this is basically for users' convenience - if I think the question should be closed, there's hardly ever a reason not to cast a vote if I can.

I cannot see however why I cannot still use a flag to nominate the question for close review - since this won't include casting a vote - same as if I didn't have the privilege.

This goes for all close reasons, including suggesting a duplicate.

If a vote creates a review item, why not consume both a flag and a vote? This will mitigate the cumulative effect referred to in Robert Longson's answer and is quite logical: flags are used to create review items while votes to vote on them.

It's also very strange that users with <3,000 reputation can add dozens, if not up to 100, questions to the close vote queue (provided their flagging history is excellent, and this number can increase quickly since a single close vote results in the flag being marked helpful), but when a user earns 3,000 rep, they're all of a sudden limited to adding only 24 questions to the queue.

Related discussions:

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  • I think this is a good idea, but there seems to be a general trend toward cutting off lower-level privileges if a new privilege is gained that is more powerful in the same area. See also the pushback against allowing mods to forgo their binding votes. Mar 9 '16 at 1:21
  • @NathanTuggy could you link to the "pushback" discussion you're referring to? Because I've had such a suggestion on my mind for some time, too! Mar 9 '16 at 1:23
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    meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41062/… especially. Mar 9 '16 at 1:26
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    I edited the title of the other question to make it clearer that they meant mod flags. If you just read the title it looked like a dupe.
    – Machavity
    Feb 12 '19 at 19:02
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It is not mentioned in the question, but this becomes really important for reviewing First Posts (or the new First Questions) or Triage queues when out of close votes.

I was reviewing a first question which needed to be closed. As I am out of close votes, I was basically forced to skip (as "No action needed" is not applicable). This means I have to hope that the next user encountering this item will make the "right" action.

Instead, if I could just flag it for closure, without even casting an actual close vote, at least I can finish the review with the appropriate action, and know that it now made its way to the close votes review queue with just one less vote than it will otherwise have.

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