I recall a time where a question would have standing deletion votes, those would remain until the question is deleted (and thus the owner could abuse the system by deleting and undeleting, thus nullifying the previous votes).

However, I saw now a question that was reopened and then closed again, and the deletion votes were gone. Upon checking, the question was never deleted.

So I'm looking for the definitive guide for delete votes anullments. When do they disappear?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Which question? As far as I recall, delete votes are permanent. It could be that the delete votes aren't shown if the question is now in a state where you can't vote to delete (score $> -3$ and closed for less than two days). $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2016 at 10:46
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    $\begingroup$ That's funny, I used to recall that delete votes "decay", but when I checked meta.SE they apparently do not. I can't seem to find a reference if close/reopen votes do affect deletion votes. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2016 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Daniel: Specifically what caught my eyes was Gerry's recent meta question. It has score -12, so the restrictions do not apply here. Not for me, anyway. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jun 4, 2016 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M.: I don't think they ever decayed. But apparently they can be nullified by closure and reopening. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jun 4, 2016 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ I don't see any indication of there ever having been delete votes. I haven't watched it, though, so I can't guarantee there never were any. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2016 at 11:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Daniel: There were two. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jun 4, 2016 at 11:33
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    $\begingroup$ We can run an experiment, by the way. Post a dummy question, get it to -3 or lower; close it; cast one or two votes to delete; reopen; reclose, and see what happens. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jun 4, 2016 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ Confirmed at this question, it had two votes to delete earlier, now that it's reopened, no indication of them left. The delete votes didn't reappear when I (temporarily) reclosed it for science. $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2016 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ It seems, however, that that always used to be so. $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2016 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Daniel: Huh, you don't say. I wonder why I remembered differently. If you post this as an answer, I will accept it. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jun 15, 2016 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


Reopening a question nullifies all pending delete votes on that question, and that seems to always have been the case (though I too thought it didn't).

Otherwise, delete votes are (currently at least) permanent, they cannot be retracted, nor do they age away. That may change in the future, as

Personally, I still think the delete workflow needs some work - bookmarking this for future reference. Shog9♦ Feb 25 '13 at 18:12

But that's not a high-priority issue, so it will take at least 6-8 weeks before it is tackled.

  • $\begingroup$ I think that the 6-8 weeks here is an error due to caching. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jun 15, 2016 at 17:46

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