I think a small amount of downvoting is okay. It tells the asker that they've asked the question on the wrong site, something that should have been researched before posting. That, combined hopefully with a comment saying where the question should have been posted, is enough.
Most people are considerate enough to realize what's happened and not downvote further than -1 or -2, but I've seen some questions go really really far negative when it was completely unnecessary. Personally I don't see the point of downvoting because I'll just add a comment to get attention, but I don't have a problem with a couple downvotes either (if the question is that far off-topic, it's almost impossible to not attract a downvote or two).
Votes are currently not reset when questions are migrated, but it was proposed that the votes be reset on migration, which makes a lot of sense to me.