# Please can someone explain the precise mechanics of reversing a downvote? [closed]

IMO, this should be in the faq's. I find the system as it is moderately confusing.

Having downvoted a Question or an Answer, I believe I can reverse my downvote by clicking the downvote button again, provided it's been less than 5 minutes. Is that correct? After 5 minutes, I can't change my vote, no matter what, until after the Question or Answer has been changed. Right?

Every time I get myself in this position, it always seems natural to click the upvote button, but as far as I can tell, clicking the upvote button in this situation changes my -1 to +1, a change of +2, and also immediately freezes my vote as +1, so I can't fix my mistake. Very Frustrating.

Are the mechanics for reversing an upvote the same?

I don't downvote much, and I never downvote, as far as I remember, unless I can see a way to explain why. Precisely because I go to the trouble to explain, not infrequently I realize that the Question or Answer is not so bad, and I want to change my mind, but I find the mechanism for changing downvotes very unUseful.

I guess this is a feature-request if I ask for the upvote button and downvote buttons to go between -1,0,+1 by addition instead of as currently. For example, clicking upvote successively would cause the transitions $-1\mapsto 0\mapsto +1\mapsto +1\mapsto +1...$ (without time limitation, the reason for which I do not understand). However, this is a change to a fairly low-level aspect of the user interface, which I presume will not be implemented without better reason than I've given here.

EDIT: I (the questioner) have voted to close this Question. I see a very similar one that the search didn't find was only just asked and closed because something like this is off-topic here and should have been put on the main meta site. I come to meta too rarely to be able to use it effectively.

## closed as off topic by Peter Morgan, David Z♦May 4 '11 at 0:19

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• This is question for the mother meta, and I'm sure it is already there. Short answer you toggle the vote that you want to cancel off by clicking it again. – dmckee May 3 '11 at 18:54
• @dmckee Agreed, and thanks. The whole SE site is big enough that one just has to use it as it is and work around whatever problems one comes across. 5 minutes is awfully short, and I downvote so rarely that I always forget. Ah well. – Peter Morgan May 3 '11 at 19:02
• The workaround is to edit the post in question so that you can cancel your vote. Obviously this is less than optimal and is easier once you have unrestricted edit privileges. But the early sites had a problem with strategic temporary downvoting. – dmckee May 3 '11 at 19:05
• This may be relevant: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/18360/…. – David Z May 7 '11 at 21:13