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I noticed recently that voting seemed to be sparse, particularly on questions.So I ran a quick query on programmers and found these results:

NumUsers AvrUpVotes AvrDownVotes AvrDaysMember
-------- ---------- ------------ -------------
   432      280        19            123

This is the average up and down votes for all users with a reputation range of 1000 to 10,000.

We users in this rep range are supposed to be the healthy voting middle class! So why are the average votes for us so low? At 30 votes a day, and an average membership of 123 days, there could theoretically be an average of 3690 votes per person! In practice, there must be less, because you may not find anything useful to you on a given day. However, I suspect that we all see more than 2.28 things a day that we find interesting. An answer doesn't need to be funny or catchy to be good, and if you think a question is worth answering, you should vote it up.

I realize that most of us are only moderately active. But surely we all can find more than two things a day to vote on. If you see a question that interests you, vote it up. If any answer is helpful to you in understanding an issue, vote it up.

Exercise your right to vote!

  • 4
    If nothing else, do it for the badges! (Civic Duty, Electorate, Suffrage, Sportsmanship) :) – Nicole Jan 26 '11 at 7:14
  • 2
    I've upvoted this question :) – Marcie Jan 27 '11 at 18:28
  • 1
    Though I am technically "low class" by your definition, still being below 1000 reputation. – Marcie Jan 27 '11 at 18:28
  • That rep range was partially arbitrary :) you're good. – Michael K Jan 27 '11 at 18:30
  • 1
    Simple. A question can be closed, and even deleted, regardless of how many people have voted for it. And all of that question's answers similarly disappear. If one moderator can close and delete that easily, regardless of everyone else's feelings, what's the point of voting? Would you bother voting for President if there were a half-dozen people in the U.S. any one of whom could veto the public's choice at any moment, even a year or two into the new President's term? – Kyralessa Mar 2 '12 at 1:34
  • @Kyralessa There are - they're called senior Congressmen ;) As it happens, I fully support the moderators here. They are doing a fantastic job of what we elected them to do: namely, maintaining the site. That includes closing and deleting inappropriate questions. Also I vote to close a lot of questions myself. – Michael K Mar 2 '12 at 12:57
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Well the answer is, much like in the real world of politics, there's simply not that much worth voting for. Particularly down votes, which cost rep - a mechanic introduced specifically to deter votes.

Keep in mind, just because there are 30 available votes per day, and 123 days, does not mean that a) the user has been here every single day, or b) the user actually reads every topic. Many simply may be of no interest to them. So most users probably only ever see a small subset of the questions and answers, which simply may not be enough to generate 30 votes for them on the days they visit.

  • +1. As an exclusively Mac programmer that uses SVN questions about ASP.NET-VS6-Git-whatever get no love from me, and a lot of the career-related questions are either too particular to be relevant to me or have been repeated too many times by reading the title—"My new boss wants me to start working unpaid OT occasionally. What to do?"—that I just don't bother to dig any deeper. – Philip Regan Jan 26 '11 at 11:27
  • +1 These are good points to keep in mind - I've edited my post with them in mind. I personally reserve downvotes for answers that detract from the question; flat out, uneditably wrong, joke answers, etc. What I'd like to see is more voting on questions, especially. It seems to me that if you think a question is worth you writing an answer for, it is worth voting up. – Michael K Jan 26 '11 at 14:14
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    @Michael, It seems to me that if you think a question is worth you writing an answer for, it is worth voting up - I think that is a good policy. – GrandmasterB Jan 27 '11 at 20:44

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