We have two confirmed cases on the U&L site where the sliding vote expiration system is mistakenly blocking the ability to vote even after votes have expired.

As a current example this question has one outstanding vote-to-close but both Gilles and I are seeing the "You have already voted" message.

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    Neither of us can cast a vote because we've both voted already (either just before or just after the sliding vote expiration came into effect), yet the vote total is 1. Jul 20, 2011 at 19:19
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    You are only allowed to cast your close vote once on any given question. Allowing votes to expire doesn't give you a second bite at the apple. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10582
    – user102937
    Jul 20, 2011 at 20:19
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    @Robert I'm pretty sure that expired votes did give me a second bite at the apple, back when they expired in four days. It's happened several times on U&L that I'd vote to close a question, no one else would pay attention, then weeks later the question would resurface and I could cast my close vote again. Note that this is about expired votes, not about a close/reopen/reclose cycle (on U&L? Ha!). Jul 21, 2011 at 12:58
  • Since this behavior has been identified as "by-design", discussion has moved to a request to tweak the design.
    – Caleb
    Jul 21, 2011 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


This is correct. You are only allowed to cast one close or reopen vote on any given post, largely to prevent close/reopen wars involving the same cast of characters.

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    I see some logic in that but in our case the prevention is working out exactly the opposite way. Far from having a vote war, we don't have very many close-voting users on U&L and we were specifically trying to cooperate and back each-other up.
    – Caleb
    Jul 21, 2011 at 11:30
  • In this case, I see a deleted vote to close from Gilles on Jul 6 @ 12:20 and a deleted vote to close from you on Jul 6 @ 10:23. Remember that close votes do age away after 4 days, and once that stack is popped, all the close votes are so old that they'll surely be removed once every 24 hours. (We only remove one close vote max per daily cycle). That is what is happening here. There's a total of 4 deleted close votes, all from Jul 6. Deletion times are Jul 18, 2 days ago, 1 day ago, 8 hours ago. Jul 21, 2011 at 11:32
  • I guess it's a good think we don't actually want to close that particular question any more. There were more examples that we really did want to close but we'd already gotten a moderator involved to get them closed so I couldn't cite them as examples because they were not currently displaying the message.
    – Caleb
    Jul 21, 2011 at 11:39
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    That's a change from the previous behavior then, and it's counter-productive in this case. Our close votes timed out, but our prevention from casting another didn't! So not only this question wasn't closed because only 2 people with enough rep paid attention to it, but now even those 2 people are barred from voting to close it. Jul 21, 2011 at 12:57
  • @gilles that's always how it was intended to work but we hard-deleted expired close votes Jul 21, 2011 at 18:26
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    My point of view is that of an SE2.0 site where it's very hard to close a question without moderator intervention. Prolonging the vote validity was an improvement, but if you can't recast a vote anymore, that's a regression that hurts at least as much (for the cases where a question requires improvements, some viewers think “this needs to be improved or closed”, and the question isn't improved but the viewers don't come back). Should I make this a separate feature request? Jul 21, 2011 at 18:56
  • @gilles that is nothing like the actual situation in this case; in this case, you guys want to vote to close it again. You can vote to reopen and close in the same cycle, as those are different vote types. Jul 21, 2011 at 19:23
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    @JeffAtwood Uh, what? This question has never been closed. It's not that we want to close it again, rather we still want to close it. Jul 21, 2011 at 19:29
  • @gilles you already cast your close vote, you can't cast close twice on the same question. However you can cast close and reopen on the same question. Jul 21, 2011 at 19:34
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    @JeffAtwood Sigh I get the impression that you haven't read what I wrote. Well, I can't flag it either, so we're left with the @MichaelMrozek method. You'd think there'd be a better way of closing low-attention questions. Jul 21, 2011 at 19:43
  • @Jeff: Restricting voting in a second-round of close votes on a re-opened question is one thing. Expiring votes after a timeout also makes sense, but the two are not equivalent, and the problem here is that they got wired together. If cast but never acted on votes are expired, they should be removed. If at a later time momentum is gathered to close something, expired votes should be able to be re-cast. Once a vote has TAKEN EFFECT restricting that person from voting again in another round makes perfect sense.
    – Caleb
    Jul 21, 2011 at 20:16
  • @caleb how so? this means one person can "juggle" a question and keep the closing process alive indefinitely. Can't say I agree with that. Jul 21, 2011 at 20:49
  • Discussion thread continued on this answer.
    – Caleb
    Jul 21, 2011 at 21:01

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