Yesterday I've casted my 1st choice vote. Today I was about to cast my 2nd choice vote, but the system doesn't allow me to do so and says "Your votes are too old to be changed".

This is weird. Of course I'm not trying to change my vote, I'm just trying to express my second preference, after having already expressed my first preference yesterday. No change at all.

By the way, it is not stated anywhere that the 3 votes have to be cast in the same "time slot". I should be able to cast my 1st choice vote on day $d$, then the 2nd choice on day $d + 3$, then the 3rd choice on day $d + 5$, for example.

Did anyone encounter the same problem?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I have not encountered the same problem, but I imagined this problem, given many issues with the undo window of voting on SE 2.0 sites in general. This should be fixed. Honestly, I cannot see any reason for restricting recasting in the election phase because no one can see the ongoing vote counts (perhaps except for the admins) and therefore the vote counts cannot affect the election. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2011 at 19:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm an admin and I can't see vote counts, but that could also be because I'm a candidate. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Suresh: By “admins” I meant people at Stack Overflow Internet Services, Inc. instead of moderators. But that information is also useful, thanks. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 10:10
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    $\begingroup$ This problem generalises to votes on answers. I cannot unvote if a better answer comes up or I change my mind after discussion. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


This is normal - there is a four hour window on casting your vote for one, two, or all three candidates once you start.


After discussion this safety check was to prevent voter fraud, however the cases are very remote. After our next build you will have the ability to change your vote as well as cast new votes outside of the four hour timeframe during the final election phase. This change will be deployed this evening.


Deploy complete.

  • 14
    $\begingroup$ This is definitely not "normal". This is a totally unexpected behaviour, and it is not documented anywhere on cstheory.stackexchange.com/election . As there is exactly zero risk of any kind of "gaming", there is no reason to expect that there would be any restrictions. People should be able to vote early and then change their mind later. Indeed, we should be able to encourage people to vote as early as possible so that they don't forget it, and assure them that they can change their votes later if needed! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 0:01
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    $\begingroup$ Please state that (ridiculous) rule clearly in an appropriate place where every voter is expected to read. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 0:01
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    $\begingroup$ Pardon me, but which is the rationale behind such an irrational rule? Why isn't it clearly documented? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 0:25
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    $\begingroup$ Lev Reyzin was not taking responsibilities seriously, and unable to understand English. Walter Bishop only had abnormal expectations. Progress! Maybe next time a problem comes up, Stack Exchange could just resolve it, instead of insulting the person who points it out and then dealing once people are upset. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 4:25
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    $\begingroup$ @aaron it also helps when you don't characterize and frame the interactions in such a labored, "us versus them" way. Not enough drama in your 'hood? :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Jeff Atwood: I respect responsibility-acceptance, and I mistrust responsibility-avoidance. An on-the-same-team approach when a user brought up a problem would be, "We'll get right on that," instead of "That's the way it is, what's your problem?" For example, you could respond to this comment "Point taken," or you could insinuate with an emoticon that this is all in my head. The second one would provide data for a theory that the Stack Exchange culture is to belittle users with concerns. I would prefer if you chose the first option. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 14:04

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