Currently, this question has something peculiar: a user has voted to close it and also provided (a good) answer. I have seen this a few times, but cannot find another example.

It seems quite strange to consider making the effort to provide an answer and also vote to close. Also, it might bar others to provide answers to a question that was worth answering.

Question: Is it OK to vote to close and answer a question at the same time?

  • 1
    I honestly don't like the question, it seemed loaded to me (by cherry picking, e.g. Iran Contra anyone?), but since it had so many answers with so many upvotes... I voted to reopen it... and downvoted the question. Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 8:17
  • Yes. I've answered and closed questions. The question is out-of-bounds (ex: software recommendations), yet I knew the answer and what they were looking for, so left a link to what they wanted (as a comment).
    – Chloe
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


Voting to close and Answering are by nature contradictory actions. The very act of voting to close is saying that the question isn't worth writing an answer for.

It's fine if you change your mind after making one of the actions. People change their minds sometimes. If this is the case, you have the option to undo your first action by rescinding your close vote or deleting your answer.

As far as I know, there's no rule against doing both, so we aren't going to go after someone who does do both. Just know that they are contradictory actions.

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    There are edge cases where this doesn't quite fit. I have at times, on various SE's, felt that a question both warranted being closed as a duplicate, yet was also worthy of answer attempts. Examples: (1) exactly how the "duplicate" actually addresses the OP may not be immediately clear to novices or the OP, so an answer recast to fit the situation may be helpful. (2) the literal question might be answered, but the OP contains various factual and logical errors that may be worth addressing. Voting to close and answer might be a way of saying "I see the merits in both, let the community decide" Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 20:53
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    The very act of voting to close is saying that the question isn't worth writing an answer for. - I think this sentence takes close votes and pigeonholes them into a nice neat box. But I think the sentence is incorrect. I am not saying its not worth writing an answer, I am saying that the question, as written, does not meet the standards we require to leave a question open. Many times this can be fixed and the question reopened. Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 15:19

One particularly horrendous example of a vote to close as "unclear" followed by an answer posted by the user can be found at Is there a purely political explanation of "race"?, which makes absolutely no sense.

The question is either clear to the user in spite of their casting a vote to close as "unclear", or the user could not resist their urge to answer a question which was not clear to them.

Even after editing the question the user still argued that the question was not clear to them Is there a purely political explanation of "race"?.

Another example is this question As of June 26, 2018 is the United States at war?, where after answers were posted, users claimed that the question was not clear. This question was asked to narrow the scope of the feigned ignorance of what "war" is What is the narrowest possible definition of war?, which was closed as well as "off-topic". Just answer the question if you understand the question, if not, your input is not constructive.

In either instance, the conduct appears to be fraudulent on its face.

"down" vote if you decide to. If you answer a question then vote to "close" citing the reason therefor being "unclear", or answer a question then vote to "close" as "unclear" - your actions are unclear. One option is to simply move on to another question instead of trying to answer a question which you do not understand, or try to squeeze the question into your understanding: It is possible that you do not have the capacity to understand the question or answer the question. Accept that fact and stop reading the question immediately.

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