Here is the situation.

A question seemed interesting at first because I was really wondering what the community would answer. A couple minutes later I realized the question does not really fit the guidelines for questions on Programmers.

I wanted to undo my upvote by clicking on the down arrow, but a popup told me I could not do it because I just upvoted the question 13 minutes ago and I cannot do anything until the question is edited.

Why cannot I undo my vote?

Note: I really wanted to flag the question but I thought it would look odd that I upvoted and then I flagged.

1 Answer 1


Votes are locked after 5 minutes to prevent tactical downvoting: voting people down just to make sure your answer appears first to accrue votes, then reversing that when it no longer is needed to get back the lost reputation and hide the evidence.

It's a weird edge case, but it's been around for a long time and unlikely to change. However, if the post gets edited later on, your vote is unlocked and you can change your vote then. Otherwise, don't worry about it too much: mistaken votes happen often, and the community voting as a whole should iron those inconsistencies out.

Feel free to flag questions even when you up-vote: moderators can't see individual voting patterns so we have no idea whether you up-voted or not. We also don't particularly care either: how you vote is your business. If something needs our intervention, definitely flag it.

  • Isn't it 15 minutes?
    – user29776
    Oct 19, 2011 at 14:18

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