I was playing around with the mod tools (testing out some bugs and stuff) when I noticed that I'd caused this:

undelete (1)

This occurred because some combination of mod tools added an undelete vote, marked the post as undeleted, and then didn't clear the undelete vote, causing it to be re-applied when the answer was re-deleted.

As useful as this is, moderators aren't supposed to be able to cast ordinary votes, and there are no plans to make this an option. Sadly, this is a bug and not a feature.

(CMs, see here for more information.)

  • 2
    That is why we can't have nice things... j/k good catch.. :) Jan 19, 2019 at 16:32
  • 6
    This is a long-known bug that has nothing to do with the mod tools. Essentially, when an answer has ever been undeleted in the past, deleting the question silently marks the answer as deleted again without clearing the past undelete votes, so it looks like the ones from the previous undeletion cycle are still pending. But since regular users can't undelete an answer on a deleted question, no one else could ever cast a vote there, which is probably why no one's bothered fixing it.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jan 19, 2019 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


It's not a "ordinary undelete vote" - your vote was binding, it undeleted the answer.

Then you deleted the question, which re-deleted the answer. This form of deletion is special - it doesn't create a history record on the answer, clear undelete votes, etc. As animuson notes in the comments, this effectively leaves your last undelete vote "pending" - even though it already took effect, the vote itself hasn't itself been deleted (as it would have if you'd explicitly deleted the answer).

This behavior is ordinarily somewhat desirable: since answers can be deleted/undeleted independent of the question, we don't want to reset everything on them when a question goes through a delete/undelete cycle.

Ultimately, fixing this properly would require storing a status on the votes (actioned / invalidated / pending). We actually planned to do this about 6 years ago, but haven't had good reason to go through with it yet.

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