I requested this on UserVoice a few months back, and at the time it was declined (I can't remember if there was a reason attached) but this question made me think about it again, so I am going to throw it out here for the community.

Some have argued in the past (and as you can see in the link above, in the present as well) that it is likely that some questions will continue to flip back and forth between closed and open status as the community divides into two camps.

Much of this was taken care of with the implementation of the rule that a user can only vote to close once and only vote to reopen once. This has definitely cut down on it quite a bit.

This suggestion is for the vote closing and reopening level to increase with each "swing-back" in status.


  1. Question is closed with 5 votes
  2. Question is opened with 6 votes
  3. Question is reclosed with 7 votes
  4. Question is reopened with 8 votes
  5. Continue pattern

Alternative Method:

  1. Question is closed with 5 votes
  2. Question is opened with 5 votes
  3. Question is reclosed with 6 votes
  4. Question is reopened with 6 votes
  5. Continue pattern
  • 5
    I prefer your "alternative method". All things being equal, I'd like a question with the same number of open and close votes to be open. Jul 8, 2009 at 1:21
  • 2
    @Kev: You have a typo in the comment: "U" => "You".
    – Welbog
    Jul 8, 2009 at 2:01
  • @Welbog: no wai cmnts shld b lk txt msgs
    Jul 8, 2009 at 2:03
  • 2
    @TheTXI: idk my bff jill
    Jul 8, 2009 at 2:04
  • Also, can I 'undo' someone else's 're-open' vote, if I want to vote to close? I've seen Qs with 4 re-open votes, which I then have to pay attention to, so I can vote to close IF it gets re-opened.
    – devinb
    Jul 8, 2009 at 12:22
  • devinb: I don't think that the team wants to implement "preventative" voting like that, but I admit it would be rather convenient.
    – TheTXI
    Jul 8, 2009 at 12:34

4 Answers 4


I like your first example. The system is currently skewed towards reopen, and if anything I believe it should be equal or skewed towards closed.

  • 3
    What currently skews it towards reopen (apart from questions starting out open, of course)?
    – Blorgbeard
    Jul 8, 2009 at 1:46
  • 4
    @Blogbeard: a) The OP can reopen. That is almost always a given, and is a free vote. b) The amount of users watching over time always diminishes, so immediately it is less likely to see a question reopened.
    Jul 8, 2009 at 1:51
  • 9
    The diminishing users watching over time skews it towards closing since fewer people will see it once it is closed. Jul 30, 2009 at 17:14
  • I find this odd, because in my experience closing can be accomplished in a drive-by fashion,while reopening by anyone other than the OP is an extremely complex process who's instructions run on for pages and has no guarentee that they'll even been looked at. I find the system to be highly skewed towards closure. May 24, 2018 at 21:04

Someone suggested that Close voting be handled more like normal voting. I think this might be a decent way to approach the problem. Most of the mechanics are there to handle the votes themselves and it would only require 6 to 8 weeks to implement the actual close when it hits the fifth vote.

Once closed, the vote count should have to return to 0 before being reopened again.

Basically treat Close voting like normal voting, but set the status of the question to Open when it reaches 0 or to Closed when it reaches 5.

I know that some people might think it "skews open", but it really "skews current status". If you and four other people immediately see a problem with it, then it will get closed and will favor that condition unless the openers can outvote the closers.

You can even vote prescriptively instead of waiting for the undesired condition and voting reactively. If the count is 0 and you like the question, but feel that some people will see it the wrong way and try to close it later; you can cast your open vote now to put it at -1 to require 6 votes to close. On the flip side, if the question is closed and you feel that others are opening it just to make a point; you can throw your vote in now and put it at 6 for the same reason.

  • 1
    At this point, I see no reason to not just base the open or close status on the total votes from reputable users. No need for the added complexity of a separate system.
    Jul 8, 2009 at 1:55

It'd be best just to base closed/open on the number of up/down votes the question has.

It's highly annoying right now that you can't throw in your "no, I don't think this should be closed" vote until after it's been closed.

  • You could always post a comment as to the validity of the question staying open.
    – random
    Dec 16, 2009 at 8:49

This was suggested on UV. Personally I think it's no longer needed now you can only vote to close or reopen a question once.

  • 8
    Cletus...not wanting to be rude but...did you read any of my question?
    – TheTXI
    Jul 8, 2009 at 2:07

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