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When flagging a question as a duplicate, a comment appears under that post: "Does this answer your question?..."

I have noticed that sometimes this comment has been upvoted. Also I have noticed that the post has been closed as a duplicate after that comment got 5 upvotes, which led me suspect that the number of upvotes indicates the number of close votes. Is this the case?

If yes, then what happens when a community member who has not yet gained privilege to cast close votes (<3k rep), upvote that comment?

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Nothing happens if you simply cast an upvote on it. Whenever a user votes to close as a duplicate, they also automatically cast an upvote on the corresponding comment. If the user is the first one (and therefore the comment does not exist), they will automatically create the comment.

Therefore, the number of upvotes on the comment does not necessarily correspond to the number of close votes for that duplicate, as others might have simply upvoted it without voting to close.

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