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I just by accident up voted an answer that my first choice was to down vote. After the down voting i pressed the up arrow so to "cancel" my down vote and that registered as an up vote. At this time i didn't noticed and i come back after a small amount of time (8 min) and i try to cancel my up vote by pressing again the up arrow but it notifies me that "after 8 min you can't cancel an up vote unless the answer is edited". I don't understand this rule, why an accidental up vote can not be cancelled?

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This has already been asked on Meta.SE. Jeff Atwood himself gave this reason:

would you also like the ability to change your vote after the president has been elected? Sorry, but vote undos have historically been our #1 source of gaming and exploits. The window is very limited for a reason, so vote carefully.

Whether or not his election analogy is useful, it is pretty obvious how that can be a source of exploits.

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    Jeff Atwood wrote StackOverflow and conceived of its core mechanisms. Why the down vote? You asked why, and I told you why. – James Kingsbery Oct 1 '15 at 22:20
  • @JohnAm just an FYI, while you can delete your account, you cannot remove your contributions. All content posted is Creative Commons licensed and basically the property of SE. (I wouldn't say I like this or the vote locking, but it's just the way it is) – virmaior Oct 1 '15 at 23:28
  • @JohnAm you don't have to worry about more replies. James is right. – Keelan Oct 2 '15 at 7:18

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