It seems that to some users, clicking "downvote" would be the way to cancel their upvote. However, if the user has insufficient rep, they receive an error message. Maybe clicking downvote should cancel an upvote (if available) and require a second click to actually downvote (after all, who is likely to go from a positive to a negative opinion?).

Obviously if there is no upvote set, downvote should immediately downvote.

For example, this is the question that sparked me thinking about it.

  • 6
    Can I upvote this twice? Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 10:48
  • 3
    Agreed. It would make sense to do it this way.
    – alex
    Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 9:01

2 Answers 2


I think it already does remove the up-vote before applying the down-vote.

  1. I up-voted your question, the total went from 5 to 6 and the up arrow was set - as expected.

  2. I then down-voted your question, the total went from 6 to 4 and the down arrow was set.

  3. I then removed the down-vote and the total went from 4 to 5. (To "reset" the system").

After a reload of the page both my rep and your rep were back at their original values. I didn't try a reload after each operation to see if the intermediate rep values were as expected, but I suspect they would be.

However, I do have sufficient rep to down-vote!

Richard - You can try the same approach with this answer if you like. So the question becomes does down-voting remove the up-vote before producing the error?

  • 1
    I just tried downvoting your answer (to test - I have < 100 rep on meta) and it does not remove the upvote, it only displays an error. Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 7:22
  • 2
    Also, you removed the downvote by clicking the down arrow again. This is precicely the point of my question: this functionality is not explained anywhere. Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 7:23
  • @Richard - On only removed the down-vote at the end to reset everything back to "normal". The key is point 2 - I went straight from an up-vote to a down-vote and the system behaved as expected.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 8:21
  • @ChrisF - but what if I don't want to down vote, only remove my up vote Commented Sep 30, 2009 at 7:46
  • @Richard - just selecting the up-vote button again should remove it. I was just testing to see if down-voting removed the up-vote first which would have the desired effect when the user didn't have enough rep. I understand your point about it not immediately down-voting.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Sep 30, 2009 at 8:21
  • Chris this seems to be completely off from the question. It's suggesting two things in one: clicking down or up should first cancel the vote instead of directly replacing it. I think it's more natural the proposed way. It never bothered me but it makes a lot of sense.
    – cregox
    Commented Mar 16, 2010 at 21:23

On the other hand a red warning box is shown when a downvote is cast, making the error obvious and easily correctable.

  • 3
    The error message does not explain how to remove the upvote. Commented Jul 23, 2009 at 10:57
  • 1
    If this is a big problem then adding a clue to the message in the displayed box, perhaps referring to the FAQ, would be easier than modifying the voting code, one suspects.
    – mas
    Commented Jul 23, 2009 at 13:29

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