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I'm sure you're familiar with the process: When you vote on a question or answer, you're given a brief period in which to cancel your vote (as if you never voted) or reverse your vote, but then your vote will be locked in permanently until the question/answer is edited.

However I've discovered that if you cancel your vote, this too is locked in. Your nulled vote is permanently a nulled vote until the question/answer is edited. This strikes me as counter-intuitive (my vote was cancelled - what is there to lock in?) and unhelpful.

I believe there is great utility in not having a cancelled vote locked in. Earlier today I downvoted an answer, then questioned whether it truly deserved it and decided I'd rather suspend my judgement and cancelled my vote. I revisited the answer a few minutes ago and was convinced it deserved the downvote. Clicking the downvote arrow, I was met with this...

"You last voted on this answer 46 mins ago. Your vote is now locked in unless this answer is edited."

My request: Cancelled votes should not be counted as votes and should not be locked in. They should be treated as if no vote was ever placed in the first place, allowing me to place the vote much later.

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    This has been raised many times on Meta Stack Overflow and has always been declined. – ChrisF Jan 19 '11 at 20:54
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    I sometimes cancel my votes when I am near my 30 vote max. – Nicole Jan 19 '11 at 22:00
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    @ChrisF: I did some searching through declined feature requests on Meta-SO and couldn't find anything resembling this issue. Maybe I'm just running bad searches. Are you certain? – doppelgreener Jan 20 '11 at 0:13
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I agree - I would also see it that cancelling your vote should effectively take you back to the position of having never voted rather than what it seems to do now.

Though as an aside, I think you're way over-thinking your votes...

  • I like to be careful when wielding the early vote stick. Being the first voter on an answer and one of the first in the entire question grants me an extent of power over vote order and influence over future readers that doesn't exist later on. – doppelgreener Jan 20 '11 at 5:31
  • @Jonathan - You shouldn't actually worry too much. Someone did an analysis of the SO data and there is very little collation between early answers and those which end up scoring highest. Odd, but it seems that quality does win out in the end. – Jon Hopkins Jan 20 '11 at 10:48
  • Hurray! That's wonderful to know. Thanks. – doppelgreener Jan 20 '11 at 10:49

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