TL;DR: Proposal: Raise the question+answer vote limit by 1 vote for each day a user reaches the limit.
Why? We have posts that need voting on; we have users who want to vote and know how to vote appropriately. It's wasteful to block them.
It's to help those few users who regularly hit the limit without causing problems (in particular, vote reversal). It's a deliberately cautious proposal: it won't solve every voting problem, but I feel voting encourages voting.
Note: To increase by e.g. 10 votes, the user would have to hit the (increasing) limit on 10 separate days. So at least
30+31+...+39 = 345 votes would be needed over 10 days.
The top answer to How can we appreciate and encourage voters? says
You can start by raising the vote caps. I've had to ration votes the last two days and still hit the caps. rockwalrus-stop harming Monica, 2019.
This happens to me too. So let's think about this again (I didn't find a discussion about this within the last 5 years)...
Why do we even have that limit?
Searching meta.SE, I found these reasons:
If I always had more votes (or never came near the limit) I could vote for every post I viewed indiscriminately. Bill the Lizard, 2014.
Because during the beta someone wrote a script that upvoted every question. The limit is to prevent that from happening. Craig H, 2008.
It's not hard to imagine new people will simply keep upvoting everything in sight until they hit 300 just for the [badge for voting 300 times (Civic Duty)]. ベレアー アダム, 2008.
Even with limits, anyone can vote indiscriminately or write an automatic voting script. Ridiculous voting patterns would likely be reversed automatically, and perhaps limits might make it harder to identify voting fraud.
... limited voting causes more deliberate voting decisions. Ethan T, 2008.
... casting a vote has more intrinsic value, as you have a limited number to cast. Make each one count, rather than casting them willy-nilly. Jeff Atwood, 2010.
There is some wisdom here, but we're generally encouraged to ignore "meta" reasons for voting: When should I vote? We vote based on the quality of the post.
I feel the situation has changed over time. It's probably safe to claim that at any SE site except meta.SE, we're not in any danger of over-upvoting. Instead, excessive vote scarcity is a problem at multiple sites: Your post is not going to get upvoted (much) regardless of anything---don't waste time improving it.
Why should we change the limit?
It appears that several sites would benefit from more voting. Upvotes are welcoming, exemplify good posts, and encourage further upvotes. However, different sites have massively different voting cultures (despite having the same privilege and badge thresholds).
Every time I go to Stack Overflow, I'm met with a wall of 0-score questions (with a few exceptions). Math.SE isn't much better nowadays. Flicking through the other most popular sites: Russian Stack Overflow, Spanish Stack Overflow, Super User, Ask Ubuntu, is much the same. The incoming post rate has scaled up rapidly over the years.
Where are all the good questions? How is a new user supposed to figure out how to post a suitable question when virtually all have minimal upvotes? Why should I bother writing a good post if it's virtually guaranteed no upvotes?
There's a similar issue on some (not all) of the smaller sites: You get the feeling that practically nobody is voting. It's not worthwhile spending time on improving a question as it won't be appreciated. Perhaps Tor.SE (2 voters with 10+ votes in the month of November) or Monero.SE (4 voters) are examples of this.
On smaller sites, there are users who care a lot about the communities; they are willing to put in considerable effort to help them succeed. A single such user systematically upvoting worthwhile posts can have a surprisingly large effect. My experience at Islam.SE and now at Chinese.SE is
if I (a single user) consistently upvote every upvote-worthy post, then people notice they're practically guaranteed an upvote if they put in a bit of effort, so they put in that effort, and
it encourages other people to participate more, and indeed make their own votes, much like a chain reaction.
At the small sites, it only takes one user to virtually keep the front page 0-score free.
How should we raise voting limits?
We clearly need to avoid the "indiscriminate voting" problem, but we also need to be aware of serial voting detection. I can think of a range of ways to circumvent this (e.g. rating threshold (previously suggested here and here); restrict to those with the Electorate badge), but I want to propose something more gradual:
Proposal: Raise the question+answer vote limit by 1 vote for each day a user reaches the limit.
In this way, users who are frequently hitting the vote limit without causing problems (i.e., vote reversal) are slowly having the threshold relaxed.
It's not going to completely solve the problems above, but it's a cautious step in that direction.
I find it hard to imagine a way to exploit this (that's not already an exploit): it's simply too much work for very little benefit. [A malicious user (or voting ring) could far more simply create multiple accounts.] There's also lots of time for serial voting to be detected before there's any major difference in the threshold.
- I'd suggest doing this on a per-site basis.
- It'd probably be worth having a "hard cap" at maybe 100 votes.
One realistic usage is for "garbage downvoters" (mentioned in the comments; better than my original example). If someone regularly downvotes effortless questions on e.g. Stack Overflow, the idea is to make it slightly easier each day.