Sometimes you vote to close something and the OP then changes it to fix the issue or issues. You can't take a close vote back though. It would be nice if you could.

With the new Duplicate close changes and the review queues, it's even more important to be able to remove accidental or erroneous close votes: close votes now place a banner on the question (for dupes) or put the question into a queue for other users to look over.

An easy "undo" button could save a bunch of people some time and grief for these accidental/no longer desired close votes.

  • 2
    Sort of related to meta.stackexchange.com/questions/125/…
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jul 5, 2009 at 15:11
  • 3
    I often see a question that is not yet closed and would like to cast a vote to re-open it if it gets closed. Can't we vote for a question to remain open (which will cancel out one vote to close)?
    – Motti
    Commented Jul 6, 2009 at 15:22
  • 1
    Already requested meta.stackexchange.com/questions/125/…
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jul 6, 2009 at 15:24
  • 39
    I basically implemented what animuson so succinctly suggested. Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 20:58
  • 9
    This question doesn't appear to be off-topic but I felt the urge to vote to close it anyway so I get to rescind it. Sue me.
    – badp
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 22:02
  • 1
    @JarrodDixon, while this was the simplest way to fix things, it would still be nice for users to be able to change their close vote if they felt they chose the wrong one. Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 5:35
  • 1
    @JarrodDixon THANK YOU :D Finally, we have this after almost 5 long years. Forever we shall rejoice! (okay, maybe I'm overreacting a bit :P)
    – Doorknob
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 2:13
  • @JarrodDixon Question: If a question is voted for closure, and then the close vote is rescinded, does it stay in the review queue? Thanks for implementing this!
    – Daniel
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 19:44
  • 5
    @JarrodDixon - It would be nice if you posted your comment as an answer. In almost all cases where there is a status completed tag there is an accompanying answer stating what was completed. Since I found this post by searching (as I noticed the new feature just now) it took me a while of looking through all of the answers without finding if there was any details of what was changed. In fact, I had to look at the change log question which linked to your comment. I would also like some clarification on what "basically" means if you don't mind.
    – Travis J
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 20:31
  • @JarrodDixon After retracting a vote, the post still reads close (1) Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 19:01
  • 2
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about me actually just testing this out.
    – user206222
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 7:37
  • This question is not off-topic but I still haven't tried this and I really want to.
    – Doorknob
    Commented Sep 1, 2013 at 15:00
  • Agreed. We should have the ability to vote to un-close threads that are closed (and/or deleted) by moderators; sometimes they are done out of spite or not thoroughly thought through.
    – rcd
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 17:00
  • 1
    So why is this on status-completed now? Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 6:35
  • 2
    @TheBlastOne: Because it was completed. Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 14:01

21 Answers 21


If this is implemented, perhaps a useful addition would be a notification appearing whenever a question I vote for closing is edited, so I can review the new (hopefully better) question!

  • 2
    Edits bump to the frontpage, so this is an unnecessary feature. You can also favorite or track the question... Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 17:36
  • 93
    I don't think it's unnecessary. If someone edits something on SO, when I'm on SQA or Programmers, I won't see the SO front page to rescind my close vote...
    – corsiKa
    Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 3:43
  • 10
    I agree, frontpage is transient, votes are permanent. Commented May 15, 2013 at 21:21
  • 5
    I agree too, mostly because the frontpage is completely useless to me, and not many people view questions about crypto (at least compared to more generic programming questions) Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 17:41
  • 13
    Tom, this would only work for people who keep staring at the frontpage 24/7 :)
    – Tomas
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 7:56
  • 2
    I think it should come in the notification at top so no matter a what SE site you are on, you can view it
    – One Face
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 13:22

The below was implemented almost as-is in July 15, 2013 as confirmed in this comment.

There are a lot of "I agree" answers here already, which is great, but how about a good solution?

Basically, when clicking the close button again after already having voted to close, change the original "Vote to Close" button to be a "Retract Vote" button:

Retract Vote

Clicking the "Retract Vote" button will trigger a confirm dialog to confirm that you really want to retract and notifying that the action is irreversible (and you can't vote again). Then once confirmed, simply mark the vote as expired. The system already has this capacity in another form. Votes that expire after some time still "exist" on the question, they just don't count anymore. Why can't this state also be applied to retracted votes?

One important thing to note with this way is that retracting a vote does not allow you to vote to close again. You've already cast your vote to close on the question, and just because you retract it doesn't mean you should be able to override the normal rules of close votes (you can only ever cast one close vote and one reopen vote on a single question) and vote again. You also don't "get a vote back" for the day to re-cast on another question.

The same method of retracting Reopen Votes could also easily be implemented this way. As well, if their close vote is not currently active, already been retracted, whatever, then the button can be hidden like normal.

  • 15
    This is especially useful when edits have been made to clean the question up.
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 2:03
  • Works for me; if the system already has it built in, it seems like it'd be relatively simple. Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 2:52
  • +1 for threshing out the details of what the OP was suggesting. I'm actually reserving the bounty for an official SE response on whether or not they plan to implement this.
    – user200500
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 3:10
  • Well, well done. Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 15:57
  • 6
    It would be more useful if you still had the close vote, because you may have voted for the wrong type of close and just want to recast your close vote correctly. Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 20:24
  • 4
    @LanceRoberts: I considered that, but I think a "Recast Vote" option is better there. Maybe just enable the form elements again, and if they select a different option, change the button to "Recast Vote" rather than "Retract Vote". Users shouldn't be able to completely retract it and then vote again at a later point.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 20:26
  • 9
    Well, the question may be edited in a way that then makes them want to close it, or they just learn more about the system and realize that it does need closing, and probably more reasons. I just don't see forbidding them to vote again just because they retracted their vote. If I retract my upvote or downvote on a post I can vote on it later (though maybe I have to do the edit thing). Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 20:33
  • 2
    @LanceRoberts: Well, allowing them to vote again would allow them to quickly retract their vote then vote to close again to bump it back into the Close Votes queue after receiving enough Leave Open votes to kick it out. It's just as prone to abuse. Once you've cast your vote, you've cast your vote. That shouldn't be undoable.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 20:40
  • 2
    Good point on the Close Review bumping, I sure don't want that to happen. Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 20:43
  • 3
    @Lance Roberts, If someone votes again to close the same question, just act as if they did it at the same date/time as their first vote. E.g. do not bump Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 11:38

Agree. Close votes should work basically the same way as up/downvotes in this respect. There should be some definite period during which the vote can be changed. For a close vote the most reasonable period is until the question is actually closed. Once it's closed, you'll have to vote to reopen if you want to change your mind.

  • interesting that you said "yes" in this question but said "no" when i asked the same question ;-) Perhaps you changed your mind? Commented Sep 16, 2009 at 3:05
  • I was a little tired last night so I don't remember exactly what I wrote, but I think I was trying to say that it wasn't very important. My preference would be that all voting works the same. Since it doesn't though, I'm not too fussed about it in the case of voting to close since it takes 5 people to do it. In that case a simple mistake isn't too damaging and more consideration before casting the vote is probably as or more effective than being able to undo the vote.
    – tvanfosson
    Commented Sep 16, 2009 at 11:45
  • Closing should be really thought about and not depend on your momentarily thoughts about the post. There is also a problem with the fifth voter, he will not able to rescind his vote. Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 18:12
  • 4
    @TomWijsman often the post is modified after the close vote is cast and the close vote may no longer be appropriate. I still think they ought to work the same way, some amount of time to reconsider, then only change it if the post has been edited.
    – tvanfosson
    Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 19:30
  • @tvanfosson: Close votes automatically run out for that reason. Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 19:32
  • Most of the time if a close vote is cast it is done by somebody experienced with the subject. After that all votes are simply cast by persons reviewing the questions with a close vote. So unless the question is on a often visited topic and is closed fast, it is likely to be closed by people following the initial "experts" advice. I'm not saying that this is the way it should be, but it is certainly my experience. Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 17:42

I'm amazed that it has been almost three years since the OP and this is still , despite "close vote expiration" having been removed and the fact that the community clearly wants this feature. Not being able to consciously revoke your own close vote is simply asinine quite silly.

Consider this question, where I misunderstood the poster's question and voted to close as a duplicate. As was pointed out in the comments this question is NOT a duplicate. However, now my close vote (and the corresponding auto-comment, which cannot be deleted) are there for eternity.

SE team, please fix this.

  • 3
    This isn't quite true... close votes do still expire except on questions with extremely few views (<100, I believe). It just takes a little longer than it used to.
    – Pops
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 18:49
  • @PopularDemand: ...and a little longer than it should, if the vote was cast in error. If close votes do still expire, then maybe the word to use is "silly" rather than "asinine". Regardless, I and at least 320 of my peers would still love to see this feature implemented. Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 18:57
  • Hey, I voted this request up in June of 2010, I'm not the enemy. I just don't like incorrect information.
    – Pops
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 19:05
  • @PopularDemand: No worries, I wasn't directing animosity; just reiterating why this feature is wanted in spite of expiring close votes. Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 22:26
  • 3
    The comment should be deletable.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 15:29
  • @ChrisF: I tried deleting the "possible duplicate" comment yesterday to no avail; it would always show back up when I browsed to the question again. I just tried again and it appears to have worked. Perhaps there is some kind of "grace period" for auto-generated comments. Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 15:37
  • 1
    The deleted comment showing again is probably just a matter of looking at the cached page: the comment is in the HTML on page load, and then removed from the view (and marked deleted in the database) when you delete it. If you then come back to the page without actually reloading it, then most (if not all) browsers will show the initial HTML again, not the manipulated HTML. That's the same with votes et cetera.
    – Arjan
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 17:27
  • @Arjan: I don't think it was a matter of the page being cached (because I did do an explicit refresh, and because SO sets really short expire headers), but it's a possibility. I will have to do some experimentation to try and reproduce exactly what I was seeing. Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 17:49

I just learned that a 'closing' is intended to encourage the OP to edit his question. This would only make sense, if I was able to rescind a closing vote - and even after the question has been closed.

Otherwise you might realise, that you really encouraged the author to improve the question but then you'd be in the need to encourage 4 more people to help reopening the question.

That doesn't make sense. And more than once, I really wanted to withdraw my closing vote, mainly after there was an edit or I learned from good answers and upvotes on the question that my judgment was totally wrong.

  • 3
    Editing should result in no further close votes, rescinding isn't necessary. Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 18:18
  • 10
    Tom - there's a broken windows, precedent setting thing here too, particulalry in on-the-line cases. A medium-rep user might see a question with close votes from a higher-rep user, which was bad but is now acceptable but not great, and mistakenly interpret the close vote as meaning it's a bad question that should be closed. Also, rules change. When I see what looks like a good (editted) question with close votes, I shouldn't need to then do detective work to determine that the rules haven't changed, there aren't people mis-using their close votes: this question was bad but now isn't. Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 11:16
  • As a workaround for this design defect I tend to encourage users to delete really awful questions and re-post them after amendments. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 1:09
  • 1
    @CraigRinger - I'd never do that because there's a risk that the user (his IP!) is banned because of one too many deletes of own questions. Not a workaround to me. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 6:25
  • @Andreas_D What, seriously, users can get banned because of too many self-deletes? argh. OK, scratch that. Makes this twice as frustrating... Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 7:45
  • @CraigRinger - Don't know if it's still the case but look here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/86997/… Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 16:30

I actually consider this a bug. I've just clicked the wrong reason by accident, and I can't change it. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine accidental votes get cast too. It's also pretty bad UI design since it seems like you can change your reason until you try.

I can't see any downside to allowing a minute or two to undo the mistake.

  • 12
    I've hit "Not programming related" accidentally many times, when reaching for "Exact duplicate". Annoying...
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 23, 2009 at 19:30
  • The majority will select the right option, so this doesn't really matter. Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 18:20
  • 8
    Huh, I didn't know this. I've often seen spectacularly wrong close vote reasons and it made me worry that our moderation was being done by people on crack. It does matter if a simple mistake leaves people thinking "What was that other person thinking?" Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 11:19

Folks asked for some color on what we're planning. Details are still being nailed down, but here's what we're aiming at:

  • If you've already cast a close vote, the close button will lead to a dialogue that allows you to rescind their vote
  • Users will not be able to vote to close again after rescinding a previous close vote
  • For the purpose of vote-aging, etc, a rescinded close vote will likely be treated as if it never happened

We'll update this once we think through any possible abuse issues and nail down specifics. None of the above is set in stone yet, either, but it captures what we're thinking so far.

  • 13
    One lovely thing would be the "I found a better duplicate", i.e. overwrite your previous suggestion with a new one (and keep your close vote in place). Sounds good though! Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 20:54
  • 8
    @benisuǝqbackwards, I like that, but I think it's really a different, albeit related, feature.
    – Jaydles
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 20:56
  • 3
    What about cancelling pending flag? If the code change is related maybe you can kill two birds in one swipe. :) Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 21:12
  • 2
    A notification when a question I close-voted was edited would also be very helpful. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 1:10

I am bumping this question in a (probably futile) attempt for reconsideration.

Yesterday, I cast a close vote on this question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6130219/fundamental-book-on-java-vm , as an exact duplicate of this other one: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/75102/best-java-book-you-have-read-so-far . A comment made me realize that I misread the question (books about java VM is not the same as books about java programming language). I immediately acknowledged my mistake and removed the automatically generated comment, but I could not remove the close vote.

The question did not get closed (luckily), but I still feel the question could have been closed, in part because of my mistake. This is an example of a situation in which canceling a close vote would be the right thing to do. It's not about reopening a question after it improved, but about fixing a mistake made by the voter (in this case, myself).

  • If the question does get closed you can a) cast a re-open vote and b) flag the post for moderator attention to speed the process along. Don't worry about it.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 22:01
  • 1
    @Chris this particular one won't get closed now. I'm not worried anymore for this case (I was yesterday), but it does not make sense to me not to have the possibility to cancel the action in such events. Maybe if I could understand the rationale for this...
    – Aleadam
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 22:04
  • 1
    I should add that I sometimes wish I could take back a close vote too - but I've learned to live with the current situation.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 22:06
  • If a question can be misread; either you haven't payed enough attention or really thought about why it should be closed, or the question is written in such a way that it's vague / ambiguous and not directly clear what exactly is meant. In the first case this is a fault which you should just learn from, as you should really think twice before voting to close. In the second case the question has to be closed anyway... Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 18:22

This is more important now that we have the Close Review queue.

It's much easier to be going through the Close Review queue quickly and make a mistake.

Everyone makes mistakes.

  • 15
    Well, I don't. But I understand that everybody else does. :) [edit: typo] Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 20:50
  • 3
    Absolutely. People take a questions's presence in the review queue as an indication that they should weight their decision toward closing rather than not closing, and there's no "vote actively against close" in review, so it only takes a couple of people making review mistakes. Combine it with the incentives in the system for fast reviews, and you get "cascades" of close votes on questions, even once they've been fixed up. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 1:12

I realize this issue has been declared "closed," but there seems to be immense support for reconsideration. Maybe all pleas will fall on deaf ears. But I wanted to add a second answer to this question to point out a marvelous example of why this would be a good feature to have.

On the ides of June, somebody asked a question on the English Stack Exchange:

Why do we have different starting pronunciations of station and sun? Station is pronounced as e-station while sun simply as sun. Is the difference due to the fact that the second letter is a vowel in sun but not in station?

A dialogue ensued in the comments, with several users asking for more clarification. "That's not how to pronounce station!" said the users. "But it is!" insisted the O.P. All the while, the question accumulated downvotes and close votes from puzzled members.

Five hours later, two users – apparently typing at the same time – wrote very helpful, knowledgable answers that unlocked the mystery, by informing the rest of the community that the O.P. was refering to anaptyxis. Suddenly, what had initially seemed like a very silly question had become a very enlightening one; the stone that the builders rejected had become a cornerstone.

As of this writing, the question – now half a day old – teeters on the brink of closure, with 4 close votes cast. One more vote, and the question will be relegated to the boneyard of closed questions.

Yes, I realize there's a mechanism for reopening the question, but why wait for a decisive vote to be cast, before pursuing that? Why not allow users to rescind their close votes on what turned out to be one of the most interesting and informative questions ever asked in the forum?

As I said, I may be pounding my head against a brick wall with this anecdote. But one never knows. After all, the U.S. Supreme Court once ruled in favor of slavery. Institutions can change.

  • 1
    See here for an explanation of why Closure is not as bad as you think it is. The votes will expire in a few days. If it is closed, organize some folks in chat with enough rep to reopen it. And regardless, if it has attracted an answer as good as you say, it is extremely unlikely to be deleted. "Closed" has a negative connotation that misleads most people. It's more like a "Time-Out".
    – joran
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 23:05
  • 8
    @joran: I don't know why you presume I think closure is bad. I'm evaluating the system's design, which is bad. Users should be able to cancel close votes, particularly after questions are changed, or new answers are added. Your argument is akin to me saying "car companies should design cars so that the battery doesn't drain if the headlights get left on," and you saying, "Why? Jumpstarting a car isn't so hard." Other comments on this thread indicate close votes no longer expire. BTW, after 5 days, all four close votes remained, and yesterday, this question was closed and subsequently deleted. Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 10:41
  • A case could be made for closing such a question. If it really involves a concept or phenomenon so unfamiliar, the writer of the question should either have explained it more, or have been quick to add such an explanation once the first downvote or close occurred accompanied by a comment.
    – DarenW
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 4:16
  • @user138624: Of course a case could be made for closing such a question, but that doesn't negate the crux of my argument. A case can also be made for keeping the question open. Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 9:21
  • 3
    Yep, and there's no way to vote against closing a question, ie cast an anti-close vote, which makes this worse. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 1:13

That's why I will usually comment before voting to close, and only vote to close about an hour after that comment.

  • 35
    SO makes this kind of workflow hard because you don't get notified of any changes on any questions you didn't ask. There's no way to bring it back to your attention so you have to remember and manually go back and check it.
    – cletus
    Commented Jun 30, 2009 at 1:31
  • 1
    @cletus: You could favorite the question so you can find it again later, then remove it as a favorite when you don't care to check on it any more. Commented Nov 4, 2009 at 20:59
  • 1
    @gnost note that since these ancient comments, favorites now DO alert you of activity on them by default. Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 9:21
  • 17
    @gnostradomus It does seem a bit silly to favorite a question you're considering closing, doesn't it?
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jul 18, 2011 at 15:47
  • Why not have the user correct his question while the close votes roll in? If he edited it well it shouldn't result in further votes. In the case it does get closed it just takes a meta question to gather re-openers to reopen it, or get an explanation why his edit isn't good enough... Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 18:32
  • Agreed, this would work OK if SO notified me of edits by the OP to questions I've commented on or answered. Unfortunately it doesn't, so I have to ask the OP to "please comment here when you've clarified this" per my questions/suggestions. Without that, comment-then-close-later workflow is painful, and favouriting it is a pretty poor workflow workaround. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 1:15

I was going to write a question about this today, but I see this has already been asked (and, unfortunately, shot down).

It looks like this debate raged some time ago, so I don't know if throwing in my two cents now will do any good. However, my reason for wanting to cancel my close vote hasn't been discussed in any of the answers thus far, so I'll offer it up.

Quite often, I'll see a question asked, where I'll think, "That's a silly1 question! That ought to be closed."

Then, perhaps a day or two later, someone will answer the question, and I'll think, "Hmmm... I hadn't thought of it that way before – maybe this question should be left open after all." By now, it's got four votes to close – one of them mine – and I'd like to rescind that vote.

The argument that I can always vote to reopen after the question is closed is nonsense. For one, am I supposed to watch that question on a daily basis for the next week or so, to see if anyone casts that deciding vote? Moreover, as someone else pointed out, once a question is closed, it's hard to garner 5 votes to reopen it.

1by "silly," I don't really mean I'd vote to close because a question is literally silly, but that I'd vote to close because the question appears to be unconstructive and not a good fit for the community.


Bit of a shame that this has been declined. I think it would be a very good addition. But I see the decision was made some time ago, so any chance of re-opening the debate?

I just voted to close a question as "not a real question", but re-reading it I realised that he had actually asked a legitimate question; albeit he could have asked it better, but it is still a valid question.

I would have liked to have cancelled my vote-to-close, but of course I couldn't.


I think this is a good idea... Maybe if that menu is reopened by a user with a current close or reopen vote, there can be a "cancel vote" button on there...


I've just recently voted to close an answer, that I regret. It just closed, and I doubt that it will receive enough attention for people to click re-open

It's a very very bad feeling when you contributed to causing a question being closed, after you later came to the conclusion that it doesn't deserve to be closed.

  • Vote to reopen it; it will then show up in the Reopen queue. Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 17:12
  • @AndrewBarber I did, and That doesn't exactly make me feel any better about my mistaken vote. Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 17:13
  • 2
    I know how you feel. I flag a lot (I have over 5k helpful flags), and I always kick myself over the (thankfully very few) mistaken flags I submit. Just try to be as careful as possible when doing 'negative' actions like that. Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 17:15
  • Now I'm afraid to vote to close clearly bad questions like the following: stackoverflow.com/questions/13294209/… Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 17:22
  • 1
    No worries! I cast the closing vote there for ya ;) Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 17:42

This is now , but not in the ideal way. There is also another related feature request (vote not to close, 294 votes now) which is in fact not status-completed despite of what the tag says, and should be also considered to find systematic solution.

The whole concept could be much more flexible. Why not follow very simple concept as in the case of score votes? There would be two buttons, available all the time, regardless the state (open/closed/on-hold) that would operate on current number of close votes (0-5):

  • close (+1) - raise number of close votes. If it reaches 5, the question goes to on-hold/close state and no more close votes can be cast.

  • open (-1) - lower the number of close votes. If it reaches 0, the question is goes to open state. It cannot go below zero.

This concept is very simple and easy to understand, and also has all the benefits we starve for:

  • Because this would dramatically increase the complexity of the system and the effort required to close (or re-open) anything. Close-voting is not an end unto itself, a process worth prolonging to savor; see: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/186417/… for a more in-depth discussion of this idea.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 17:18
  • @Shog9, how would this increase complexity? I think it might be even easier than current solution. I read the discussion you linked. But if the question is worth closing, it shouldn't get any "open" votes. I wouldn't be afraid of that. We are talking about very bad questions and there is usualy a consensus. If there is no consensus, then it is probably a good sign that the question shouldn't be closed too fast.
    – Tomas
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 17:33
  • 4
    in an ideal world, maybe not. But I've been here a long time, and I've seen plenty of reasonable questions that get a few close votes - and plenty of awful ones that get one or two re-open votes. There are people who believe strongly that nothing short of spam or hate-crimes should ever be closed... and some of them aren't even totally sold on the need to close spam. And there are folks who will vote to close any question they already know the answer to. Giving extremists license to disrupt the majority of questions is a very, very bad idea.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 17:59

I agree - this is a good idea and I upvoted it. There's an easy solution - don't vote to close ones that may be reopened. A little more leeway solves this problem.

I can see all the downvotes for this already...

  • 1
    I agree with you on this: if users finds themselves wanting this feature often, then maybe they're exercising their right to vote to close too quickly. But first impressions are not always accurate impressions, and I don't think giving people the ability to rescind a vote to close would encourage more reckless behavior. Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 10:23

If the close vote total never reaches the threshold of 5, there's no reason for you to rescind it since close votes eventually expire after a certain period of time (although I forget what that period of time is... maybe a week?).

...and if anyone is wondering, after a close vote expires you can vote again (i.e. you are only counted as having voted already if the question actually gets closed).


Here, I also asked a similar question, about this question which I voted to Close. The reason why I voted to close was that it was not clearly constructive and formatting was not so good. Then it was edited and I felt that it would be a good question and I would like to remove my Close vote from the question.

So, I will definitely support the proposal for "Remove my Close Vote". But I want to provide some facts on why I think this proposal is not as such necessary.

  • One of a very good suggestion I found in a comment on my question as provided by @enderland. One should not be quick with close votes unless they do not think the question is salvageable. If the question has some formatting issues, we could just edit the post instead of voting to Close it.
  • If the post previously had quite poor formatting and some other issues and then those issues were resolved after one voted to close it. In this case, the OP should be aware of reading guidelines to write a well phrased question before posting it.

A closed question will somehow tell them to take a look around and see how things work (which they should and could have done first) before posting another not terribly well constructed question. However they could anytime improve the quality of question and flag it for reopening. It sends a clear message - we expect quality content.

once the question has 100 views, close votes will start expiring at a rate of one per day unless another close vote is added, at which point the 4-day timer resets. So if you're concerned about it, just check back in a week or so to make sure the votes expired, and if they didn't and the question got closed, just vote to reopen.

you can go to the Review page (link at the top of the page) and go through the Close queue and vote "Do Not Close"; if a post gets 3 Do Not Close votes it will be removed from the close queue, however others can still vote to close it.

At all, if the system has granted permission to 3K+ reputed user, then there might be some meaning in there. Maybe those reputed users should handle the close votes their way, not being so quick to Vote to Close a question.

Nevertheless, it would be extremely good to have this option to Remove the Close Vote and would expect it soon, until then be careful before Voting to close a question, if you are really concerned.

  • I don't think you can search the review queue for a specific question, and I thought that if you had voted to close a question then it wouldn't show for you in the review queue. Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 14:34
  • @LanceRoberts This thing was specified in an answer to my question by a person who is a moderator in some other site, so I thought it might be true. if you think its not, I'll remove it from the answer. Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 5:12
  • I'm not completely sure, you'll have to ask a mod. Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 5:24
  • Okay @LanceRoberts I'll wait until a mod have a look at it. Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 5:27

You should be asking about an unclose vote command.

Unclosing something is almost the same thing as opening it, only on SO, the thing that you are requesting to unclose is still open and not yet closed. IRL, you could yell "Cindy! Unclose the front door!" which is the same thing as asking Cindy to open it. Lots of people do this normally. But on SO, the meaning of unclose is a little different. If the door is already closed and you want that door to be opened, you would need to vote to reopen that door, not unclose it. However, if the door is on its way to being closed and you want to stop it from being closed, you would issue the unclose command.

  • 10
    Could you clarify what you mean? All the bold makes my eyes hurt.
    – cpast
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 1:00
  • 1
    Just so this isn't lost on anyone, the joke here is overcomplicating something that is actually really simple.
    – bobobobo
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 18:44

declining -- you can always cast a reopen vote if the post gets closed.

Also note that all close votes automatically expire after two days.

(and for that matter reopen votes, or any other vote that attempts to reach a threshold -- otherwise, over an absurdly long period of time, say 10 years, everything would reach the threshold eventually through a tiny trickle of accumulated votes)

  • 75
    Not really the same though. People tend to avoid closed questions, and it has very little chance of being reopened if that happens.
    – GManNickG
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 21:36
  • 37
    One more thing: you can't vote twice on the same question, so you can't vote to open if the OP edited the question into shape, or undo your close vote before it closes.
    – perbert
    Commented Feb 23, 2010 at 14:28
  • 14
    @voyager: you can cast a single close and a single open vote on a single question, so you can re-open a question that you've closed. You cannot, however, re-open and then re-close a question if it was closed for the wrong reason. And this does nothing for cases where someone else edits a question into shape post-closing, and then it gets rolled back once re-opened.
    – Shog9
    Commented Mar 23, 2010 at 20:55
  • 11
    (+1) I think you should focus more strongly on explaining that close votes age. People don't understand that, and so the want to be able to rescind them, because they don't see that they are rescinded automatically.
    – devinb
    Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 11:51
  • 52
    It's great that votes age (I did not know that) but it doesn't take two days for someone to fix their question. You say that this feature has been declined because there is a way to glue the vase together after it has been broken...but we'd rather not break the vase to begin with. Please reconsider.
    – Phrogz
    Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 17:45
  • 7
    I disagree with that approach, nearly everything else on the site is undoable, why not close votes? Just because a question can be reopened later doesn't mean it will happen (closing is generally much "easier" then reopening). Please reconsider @Jeff Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 15:31
  • 41
    Out of your impressive collection of 4300+ answers, this answer is by a good margin your most down-voted one. And on top of that, 99% of the answers and comments are in favor of making this change, and most of the other 1% are indifferent. Why are you completely ignoring the fact that the community is heavily in favor of this change?
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Sep 29, 2011 at 18:19
  • 5
    The two day expiration is no longer true leading to huge numbers of answers with close votes. Allowing us to retract close votes that no longer apply would make this more managable. Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 12:46
  • 5
    "Also note that all close votes automatically expire after two days." Not any more.... Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 14:40
  • 41
    @JeffAtwood what can you say about this? the close votes no longer expire, and we do not have the ability to remove our own close vote against a question. Please, listen to the community on this one. We enjoy self-moderation, and this would greatly benefit the quality of our efforts by giving the ability to be more accurate with our voting
    – rlemon
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 15:55
  • 1
    @Shog9 why this answer has -144 score. Even if was answered by site founder!
    – Jaguar
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 9:10
  • 4
    @Jaguar: Because we're all ingrates. No, because it's a bad answer. Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 0:04
  • 12
    Obviously the community greatly disagrees with you! Just at least status-review this or something. WE WANT THIS
    – Doorknob
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 1:05
  • 9
    As far as I'm aware, Jeff is no longer involved with Stack Exchange, so at least we should be able to review this decision. Mods, please reconsider adding this feature.
    – TtT23
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 7:39
  • 6
    @l46kok They did! Yaaaaay! celebrate
    – Doorknob
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 0:22

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