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So I'm new to the voting system and had a bit of a gaffe trying to zen after a bad comment found me on a bad day. Long story short, I down-voted good answers with the intent to undo the down-votes as a method of letting go of any ill feelings towards the user, only to find that votes got locked after a few minutes. Fortunately, the issue was resolved and the down-votes were undone, and (hopefully) there's no hard feelings.

But if they hadn't, what if I were to edit the answer with "MilesBedinger is an idiot and is undoing an unearned downvote", undo the downvote, and then delete my added sentence?

Is this possible, and more to the point, is it acceptable? Or is it just breaking one rule to fix another gaffe?

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    \$\begingroup\$ (There's no hard feelings. I like your answers and hope you stick around.) \$\endgroup\$ – Bloodcinder Feb 20 at 21:55
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I'll examine that from the lens of something that will actually happen: just generally making downvotes we might later wish we hadn't.

Most of the time, just live with it; if the answer's any good it'll have plenty of other upvotes to negate the impact of your single one. Single downvotes on anything are like white noise from the universe and aren't really worth much fuss.

Edits should be done only if there's actual editing to be done, and not made solely so we can change our votes. Instead of that edit summary, just find a worthwhile way to improve the post. There will probably be something. If you're feeling guilty consider that work your penance. Then you can change your vote. If there's genuinely nothing you could do then it's probably a pretty good answer; see previous paragraph.

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If you were going to do this, yes you'd make a trivial edit, undo your vote, and then edit it back to its original state. Probably best to make it just whitespace, not with your name in it, though. You could make the changelog message something like "trivial edit so I can fix a mis-cast vote".

The edit history for the post would then say something like "Miles Bedinger: edit removed during grace period". (source: I've seen that on Stack Overflow a couple times. I don't know the motivation of the editor, but it probably wasn't this.)

I think that would still bump the question to the front page (and the top of the recently-active list for tags people are watching), so don't do that unless you can come up with some minor improvement to make with an actual edit. Could be formatting, a typo, or adding a link to a source.

And of course don't plan to do this again in the future. But sure as a least-bad option for fixing mistakes, doing that on some nice answers that you want to upvote instead could possibly be ok.

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