It seems that when things move quickly enough, I can incorrectly lose the ability to change my vote on an answer.

Here's what happened (on this answer), all within ~15 minutes:

  • Answer posted

  • I commented that the answer didn't address the question, and downvoted.

  • OP edited the answer to address the question, but it was soon enough after the original posting that it doesn't show up as a distinct edit.

  • I deleted my comment.

  • I attempted to undo my downvote, and got a pop-up message:

    You last voted on this answer
    13 minutes ago
    Your vote is now locked in
    Unless the answer is edited

So, even though the answer was edited, substantially, after I downvoted, I can't reverse my downvote on the basis of that edit.

  • The answer was edited 4 minutes after posting, which is within the 5 minute grace period.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 18:43
  • I suspect this is by-design.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 18:43
  • 3
    All edits (or creations) within 5 minutes are counted as one event, so the edit got retrojected into the original post and your vote came after that. I agree with you that it shouldn't work that way; I'm just explaining how (I think!) it happened. Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 18:58
  • A workaround. See also.
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


To the system, there was no edit as the author edited within the initial grace period of five minutes. All edits during this period are just considered a single revision, allowing a chance for simple corrections to not clutter the revision history.

We all vote to the same end, but with subtle differences in application. I typically won't vote for a post until it's at least 15 minutes old, because I've written many hastily cobbled together answers out of the excitement I felt when I realized I knew the answer.

The most simplest thing to do in this case is just edit the post after the grace period, but that's not always possible. I'm marking this as by design for now, I'm going to look into the technical feasibility of making the vote retraction behavior consistent even if the grace period is involved. To my knowledge, it's not doable because there's no post history entry for the edit, therefore the system has no idea the post was edited outside of the request that saved the latest version.

I don't know if that's changed, but I'll find out. If it has, we'll see if we can deal with this corner case better than we do. I can't make any promises, but I'll look into it.

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