I've cast my votes in both the Stack Overflow and Super User primaries, but I've changed my mind about one of the votes I cast.

I tried to revoke the vote but was told that the vote was locked (as is expected as the nominations are effectively questions).

If the candidate edits his nomination I can change my vote, but I can't contact the candidate to ask him to edit the post. Firstly that wouldn't be ethical, secondly it would tell them which way I had originally voted and what I changed that vote to be and thirdly there's no way a non moderator can send someone a message from within the system.

Is there any chance the vote locking could be lifted (or at least relaxed) for elections?

  • 9
    Bugged my too. I also don't particularly like these votes count on the user profile. They aren't real votes.
    – Kobi
    Jan 26, 2011 at 15:14
  • When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
    – tvanfosson
    Jan 26, 2011 at 15:30
  • 1
    In real life would you be allowed to rummage around the ballot box to get your paper back? @kobi - where are these on the user profile?
    – Kev
    Jan 26, 2011 at 15:47
  • 6
    @kev - no, but if you spoil your ballot by marking the wrong candidate, you can ask for a new one.
    – tvanfosson
    Jan 26, 2011 at 15:49
  • @Kev - on the total votes - you have a breakdown of your total up and down votes, just above the tags. Also, this is not real life :)
    – Kobi
    Jan 26, 2011 at 15:50
  • @tvan - true, but this is electronic voting. Not sure you'd get away with asking for my vote to be deleted on a Diebold, unless there was some issue with vote fraud.
    – Kev
    Jan 26, 2011 at 15:53
  • @kobi - sorry I thought you meant our user profile pages.
    – Kev
    Jan 26, 2011 at 15:55
  • @kev - yes, this thing on the user profile: i.imgur.com/TNw4h.jpg
    – Kobi
    Jan 26, 2011 at 15:57
  • @kobi - gotcha, I never noticed tbh.
    – Kev
    Jan 26, 2011 at 15:59
  • 2
    @kev - i guess my point is that voting on questions is different than voting on moderators and probably requires different tools. I haven't used an electronic voting machine, but I would expect that there's an extra step after you've marked your ballot where you submit it. Up until you've "locked" in your vote by submitting, you can likely change it. The question/answer voting code doesn't match this model. Your vote is locked in very shortly after clicking the vote button. It works, but it's a different user experience than expected in that context; thus the hammer/nail analogy.
    – tvanfosson
    Jan 26, 2011 at 16:30
  • @tvan - In a voting booth once you lock in your vote and leave you can't go back. The SO vote is kinda the same but way more flexible: 1. You have all week to think about your vote rather than a one-shot chance in voting day. 2. You even get full visibility of the numbers as the primary takes place. 3. Even if (after a whole week of deliberation) you do fluff it, you still have time to fix it (5-10mins?), this is still plenty of time to make a last minute change of heart.
    – Kev
    Jan 26, 2011 at 16:47
  • 4
    @tvan - Unless a candidate has grossly mis-represented him/herself then I don't have a problem myself with how things are, but that's me. What I do find odd (having been involved in UK Parliament elections) is being able to downvote candidates. Not only do they not get votes, they also get an additional kick in the goolies with a downvote. I think that's a bit wrong and I'm sure it isn't exactly nice for the folks on these large -ve scores, talk about rubbing it in :). I think I'd have preferred upvote or abstention.
    – Kev
    Jan 26, 2011 at 16:53
  • 1
    @Kev - this primary phase isn't like UK parliamentary elections so different rules apply. The votes in the final round are secret until the election is over. Not that I'm 100% happy with down-votes.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jan 26, 2011 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


As mentioned you have a 3 hour window to change your vote unless a candidate edits their nomination and changes their position in some way.

  • 1
    Thanks for clarifying the time period. I'll just have to be more careful next time (or find some way of getting the candidate to edit their post!). I don't think it'll affect the outcome of the primary phase, but it would be nice to give a "correct" vote.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jan 26, 2011 at 21:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .