Something that just occurred to me is that I'm not sure when a vote to close a question should be used as opposed to a downvote. It seems that every case where I would downvote (the question is vague and unclear, argumentative, etc.) is also a case where I would vote to close. In fact, surveying my downvotes and my votes to close, it seems that in almost every instance since I could vote to close that my downvotes were accompanied by a vote to close. But then that just seems a bit redundant.

Since I've only had the vote to close privilege for a short while, I think that maybe I haven't picked up on the subtle differences here. Is there one? Or for users with the privilege to vote to close will the legitimate reasons for a downvote coincide with reasons for a vote to close?

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Downvotes are for questions that do not show any research effort; are unclear or not useful. Close votes are essentially the same for me except I only close to either put questions in a holding zone while they are being improved to prevent tons of irrelevant answers or when the question is at a point where I think, based on the evidence at hand, that it will not be improved or is beyond salvaging. It is, of course, always best to edit to improve a question where you can, or at least add a comment about how to do so rather than simply voting to close or downvoting, but most people including you seem to recognize that thankfully.

See also:
When to downvote, when to close vote, when to do both?
Downvotes versus close votes on questions

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