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I feel that there should be a period of time after a bounty expires before it is automatically assigned. This way, each bountied question can have its full 7-day timespan for meaningful answers to be added, and no bounty offerer will have to cut a bounty period short or risk missing out on being able to assign a bounty.

A period of 12-72 hours would be more than sufficient IMO.

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As long as this doesn't also extend the time the question is on the featured tab, I think this is a good idea, and it sounds like that's what you mean

If it does, you're essentially just extending the bounty period, and you have the same problem but 12-72 later than you did before, so that doesn't help any

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    Right this is nothing about extending the bounty period. It's about the fact you have no time to evaluate the answers after the 7th day whereas you should. – Chris Marisic Sep 13 '10 at 19:51

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