Similar to this, but I'm interested in why.

Why am I limited to identifying 40 useful questions and answers per day? It seems strange that a website dedicated to community editing would limit that to a hard count/day. I'm guessing the concern is indiscriminate upvoting. But you have to make a determination like the US legal system does. A guiding principle is that we'd prefer to allow 1000 guilty men go free rather than convict a single innocent person.

By limiting me to 40, you're preventing questions or answers that deserve getting upvoted. That's the wrong compromise.

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    are you that single person? Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 16:09
  • 2
    I disagree that one needs to focus more attentively to what gets upvoted. A good answer is a good answer... if it's the 31st one I've read today, it's still a good answer. Preventing Bots is a lame excuse.
    – Mark Brady
    Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 16:54
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    It's perfect because at 30 that told me that I should get off of this website and do something else more productive ;) Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 17:05
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    Now that I agree with Daok. +1
    – Mark Brady
    Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 18:20
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    I always run in to this limit :(
    – deleted
    Commented May 12, 2009 at 22:55
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    The question title does not match its body. Perhaps you are copying too closely from that other question.
    – Ether
    Commented Feb 1, 2010 at 6:18
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    Not everybody is a winner.
    – random
    Commented Feb 1, 2010 at 6:28
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    I'd like that at least some percent of unused votes could go to the next days :) Commented May 26, 2013 at 8:52

9 Answers 9


Because during the beta someone wrote a script that upvoted every question. The limit is to prevent that from happening.

  • lol thats awesome.
    – user34537
    Commented Dec 15, 2009 at 20:52
  • "upvoted by bot"
    – Scientist
    Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 19:19

If everyone upvotes indiscriminately, wtf is the point? By having a cap on it, you need to choose what really deserves the vote.

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    Reductio ad absurdum. No said anything in favor of indiscriminate upvoting. Only that it's possible to read 31 good questions and answers. I can't believe that no one finds that as a possibility.
    – Mark Brady
    Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 16:59
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    And if you're genuinely hitting 30 votes because you've read that much quality content then perhaps the cap is a good way of suggesting that you should get back to work ...
    – Unsliced
    Commented Oct 29, 2008 at 8:04
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    I think that's the geek equivalent of nah nanny boo boo. Bravo!
    – Mark Brady
    Commented Oct 30, 2008 at 19:16

I'd also add that there is a badge for voting 300 times (Civic Duty). Downvoting burns rep, but upvotes are free. It's not hard to imagine new people will simply keep upvoting everything in sight until they hit 300 just for the badge.

  • 9
    Then it's a bad badge definition. Again a lame excuse for the limit.
    – Mark Brady
    Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 16:57
  • I do agree that the Civic Duty, while in principle is a fine recognition, is a bit of a daft badge. But then all badges have some sort of a downside, at least with the CD badge you are doing some good for a while, even if you stopped at 300 on the nail.
    – Unsliced
    Commented Oct 29, 2008 at 8:06

The US legal system will limit you to one vote for president next week ;)

On a more serious note you could vote for change. I'm sure stack would figure a way to stop the bots

And if you look at uservoice you only get 10 votes in total, but of course it's possible to redistribute the votes. This saves ups the value of a vote, which i think is a good thing.

  • yeah, but it's the electoral college that counts and only some of the state electors are legally bound to vote according to the popular vote :) Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 16:25
  • there aren't tens of thousands of candidates... like there are questions and answers.
    – Mark Brady
    Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 17:00
  • Laws don't limit anything. You seriously believe that not a single person, in the entire country will cast more than one ballot. @JF You think just because someone is legally bound to do something, that they will? Ted Stevens was legally bound to report gifts, he didn't. Laws don't stop anything.
    – Mark Brady
    Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 17:03
  • And uservoice gives your votes back if something happens with respect to the votes you cast.
    – Unsliced
    Commented Oct 29, 2008 at 8:01
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    The US legal system does NOT limit you to one vote for president. Rather it is there to punish people who do vote multiple times. Those are very different things.
    – NotMe
    Commented Oct 29, 2008 at 14:41
  • @Chris. EXACTLY. laws only do two things, deter the rational with the threat of punishment, or punish people proven guilty in a court, there's nothing which a law can prevent.
    – Mark Brady
    Commented Oct 29, 2008 at 19:56

Short answer: limited voting causes more deliberate voting decisions.

Compare the level of discourse between a sites like Digg versus Slashdot. You'll note that the discussions on Slashdot are considerably more balanced and each comment seems to have more thought put into it, while on Digg the only comments visible are those that agree with the majority opinion.

I'm confident that this is partially because Slashdot gives visitors limited moderation points on an occasional basis, and when they're more rare you tend to use them with greater discretion. Digg lets anyone vote on everything with no noticeable limits, and as a result people vote comments up and down willy-nilly. The net outcome is a site that never shows minority opinions, which hurts discourse all around.

  • You could attribute the difference in discourse because of limit of votes. I think that's wrong.The real difference between DIGG and /. is that the former has an Alexa ranking of 260 and the latter has a ranking of 8616?
    – Mark Brady
    Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 18:19

If I regularly hit the 30 limit I would compaign for change. As it is, especially since favourites were implemented to mark questions, I don't think I've hit that limit more than once or twice.

If it becomes a problem then perhaps some solution which perhaps gives you extra daily votes based on some formula of payment (10 rep points buys you an extra 30 votes) or activity (ask a question - 10 more votes, answer a question - 5 more).


All limits on Stack Exchange sites provide security from abuse (e.g. number of votes, daily reputation cap). It also provide a limit for people who are too much on this website (including myself), and force these people to continue to work, or do something else.

I find that rule perfect.


I'd rethink what you're upvoting. I haven't reached my limit since it was imposed (to test it).

  • 1
    OK, so you don't read good answers... is it possible that I do read good answers? Is it possible that I read 31 good answers and questions in a day?
    – Mark Brady
    Commented Oct 28, 2008 at 16:56
  • 1
    It's possible that you need a hobby. Besides, even if you don't upvote the 31:th answer, I bet the author can still go to sleep at night. It's not a big deal. Have a nap, come back tomorrow. The answer will still be there. Promise. – Ace (0 secs ago) [remove this comment]
    – Ace
    Commented Oct 29, 2008 at 8:13

The consequences of convicting the innocent are far worse than denying someone the chance to vote. Plus, Stackoverflow is a benevolent dictatorship, not a democracy. Now, admittedly, Jeff does accept the advice of the masses, but this site is his baby.

  • I disagree with the latter part of this: it may be his decision, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't argue to convince him to change his mind. Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 22:32

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