We should recover close votes cast on questions which are deleted by the owner before actually being closed.

For example, a user posts a question, and I think to myself that it looks familiar. A search turns up one (or several) pretty clear duplicates, so I vote to close and provide the link to the older question(s). A short time later, the OP comes by and realizes that their question is, indeed, a duplicate and decides to delete it.

What I don't like about this is that I've essentially "wasted" a close vote. Now I'll admit, I've never actually used all my allotted close votes in a day yet, but it's a little disappointing to know that I've effectively squandered a vote pointlessly when it could have been used for something more productive instead (i.e. a question that really ought to be closed for whatever reason).

I suppose there's also some hypothetical room for abuse of this current mechanic (trying to force people to waste votes), but with moderators on the boards I think that's a non-issue.

  • Added a bounty. This happened to me again today and I'd be interested in hearing some feedback/suggestions from others. Commented Nov 4, 2010 at 15:29
  • I find myself very divided on this. You do have 10 moderator flags for when close votes run out, if you find something really ought to be closed. And the close votes do stick around, in the case that for example a question gets undeleted. But on the reverse side, users under 10k find it really difficult to undelete questions. In the end, I don't think this "loss" is really problematic or abuseable (as among other things it's not as if you can see who voted on your question prior to closing). But I don't see this feature being harmful to implement, either, since the wrongs are just as rare.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Nov 4, 2010 at 15:56
  • 2
    Adding to the (very old) comment by @GraceNote, I found LQ flags work well when I'm out of close votes: they push questions into review queue where others will vote to close. ... As for the actual question, given its age I don't even know if this is still the behavior... It is well known that up/down votes on deleted posts do not count toward the daily quota.
    – user259867
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 18:42
  • 2
    @GraceNote is this still suggested that the 10 moderator flags be used for pushing things to a quick close when you run out of votes? On SO, the custom flags can be even slower than close votes at times... and if you're a responsible flagger you are more likely to have 100 flags available than 10 flags (and I'm sure that the mods would give me very dirty looks if I was to go on a flagging spree of "this needs to be closed quickly - blame Gracenote")
    – user213963
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 2:04
  • 1
    @900sit-upsaday the LQ queue is one approach, though on a slower site, sometimes mustering 5 votes can be difficult - anecdote - on SO it was closed quickly, same question sat with 3 close votes for 10 hours on P.SE. I was out of votes (and some were on deleted questions that day). It was in the LQ queue, but didn't have enough reviewers even there before we finally got a mod to step in.
    – user213963
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 2:08
  • I don't think the mod flags should be used for closing questions, especially on larger sites (at least, my experience learns mods tend to say 'declined - use the close flags', which you don't have when you ran out of them.) Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


This should absolutely be done...

Now days, there are people do use up all their close vote on a regular basis. With ever-growing queues on several sites, it is these people who try to beat down the size of the queue or get keep the crap off the front page.

This is not a rare occurrence to find a question that goes roughly like this:

From a deleted question

That close vote is 'wasted'.

Other times it goes like this:

From another deleted question


Yet another one

Note that all three of these examples are from today. I'm not digging into the history files of quickly deleted questions... just ones that I see in the chat room ticker.

A question was closed, not recoverable and then deleted (one doesn't need the front page to be cluttered with migrations that couldn't go to Stack Overflow because of a question ban there).

When people are regularly running out of close votes doing janitorial work - trying to keep the site clean and orderly and present itself well... there are few things more frustrating than seeing

oh noes!

and instead watching a question sit for 10 hours with 3 close votes because people are out of close votes.

Refunding close votes on quickly deleted questions is one way to help alleviate the frustrations of those doing the job of keeping the site clean and having the tools taken away because they were used to deal with some of the more egregious offenders of off topicality.

  • 1
    feel free to reuse this example that list 5 self-deletes and then adds 6th a day (besides these, there could be also deletes by mods / trusted users, I just didn't count these back then)
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 15:35

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