Could someone explain how does the vote: close/leave-open work in the context of review tasks?

Consider, please, this example: there are 6 votes there (4-close and 2-leave-open), and the question has been put on hold as off-topic

here there are 6 votes (3-3) and the question has not been declared off-topic.

I knew that it takes 5 votes to close a question.

  • 1) What I'd like to know is if my vote to leave-open has any value or meaning. In both cases, will the question be closed anyway when there are 5 votes to close, as if 2 or 3 votes to leave-open had not been cast?

If so, do you think it would be more rational and advisable to close a question when the net balance is 5 votes to one or to the other effect?

  • 2) Can you also explain why here at meta only one vote to leave closed is enough to declare that item no longer reviewable? and if/how that question can ever be reopened?

Update after the answer:

In conclusion: if 4 members think a question should not be closed, 5 members can anyway close that question, and the four contrary votes are absolutely irrelevant.

Can someone answer also the second question? There were a couple of reopen votes at that post, which have disappered now: on what conditions can it be reopened?

Why one member that has closed that question can vote again to prevent people from reopening it, and why only one vote (his) is enough to make that item no longer reviewable?

Considering that only some 20 members (out of 100/150) are actively engaging in reopen votes and that 5+5 were involved in the closures, it seems that it is practically impossible to reopen that question.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You do not see the votes people cast directly instead of from the review queue in these links. And yes, questions are closed/reopened whenever there are five votes for the corresponding action, no matter how many voted leave open/leave closed in the queue. The only effect the leave votes have is that, after three of them, the question is considered "reviewed" and will be taken out of the queue. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 13:32
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind: That probably could be fleshed out into an answer. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


A question will be closed whenever there are five Close votes on it, unless one of those is a moderator (in which case the question is closed immediately). It's important to note that close votes age away if no new votes are being added.

The effect of Leave Open votes is to take the question out of the review queue: if (# of Leave Open reviews) is three or more, the question will not be shown to new reviewers on the queue. This does not affect the number of Close votes on the question (except by triggering the start of close vote aging - see link above), so it can still be closed if people find it independently and vote to close it, or if a moderator sees it and closes it.

If you feel strongly about a question staying open, you should comment below it stating the reasons why you think so. Close-voters may simply express their disagreement via their votes, but at the very least this helps the OP in knowing where the strengths of their posts are, which will hopefully help them reopen it later on. Alternatively, you can post here on meta if it exceeds the dimensions of a comment thread.

There are two ways for a question to enter the review queue. One is for a user with close-vote privileges to vote to close, and the other is for someone without the privilege to flag it as off-topic. The former is the more common of the two, and in that case there will be that additional vote in the count, so the review count will show four Close votes from the review; this is the case for the first question you linked. The total count of close votes on a question is shown in parenthesis next to the close link below the question body.

An identical system is in place for the Reopen review queue: enough Leave Closed votes will knock a question out of the queue, but will not cancel the existing Reopen votes. A question will be removed from the queue when it is reopened, when it attracts 3 or more Leave Closed reviews, or when all outstanding reopen votes age away (see link in first paragraph - this is what happened in the example you linked to).

For more info, see this thread in the mother meta.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks Emilio, can you address also the second question? $\endgroup$
    – bobie
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 6:51

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