This answer, by its own admission, does not answer the question. Other users have pointed this out as well. Indeed, the answerer admits:

Fair point that I should have been more on point to the OP's question. I think that trying to decide why a hand count is "better" is the wrong question. To me the more pertinent question is... [emphasis added]

I flagged it under the following category:

This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.

with the following reason:

This does not answer the question: Why is “hand recount” better than “computer rescan”?

But my flag was declined. The baffling reason given was the following:

declined - flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer

Why was the flag declined? Why was this reason given for declining the flag?

Edit: Note that the body of the question is as follows:

My initial judgement is that a "computer rescan" would have less chance of being biased and less change of making mistakes than a "hand recount", and so the "hand recount" can only introduce more uncertainty and a worse quality result. Is there any reason I should think otherwise? And if the result is not qualitatively better, then what? 2 out of 3?

In other words, the question is specifically asking about these aspects (bias, reliability, security, certainty, quality, etc.).


It does provide an answer to the question even if you may consider a a poor answer. It points out that a hand count is slower than a computer recount and gives Trump more time to maneuver while it is being performed.

Your flag was declined because multiple users said the post looked okay and didn't need deleting in the review.


  • 1
    It does not answer the question, as the user has admitted. The question is: Why is “hand recount” better than “computer rescan”? – user76284 Nov 14 '20 at 1:33
  • 2
    @user76284 I would disagree on that. In a situation where you are stalling for time having a recounting method that takes longer makes it better for you. While it may be a poor answer in that it just states that a slower recount may be better for Trump it still is an answer. – Joe W Nov 14 '20 at 1:34
  • By "multiple users" you mean the 2 out of 3 users in the review you linked to? As opposed to at least 4 (now 5) other users who have pointed out it's not an answer? – user76284 Nov 14 '20 at 1:34
  • 1
    It's not. The user even called the question "wrong", and said they'd like to answer a different question instead. – user76284 Nov 14 '20 at 1:35
  • 1
    @user76284 That is what stack exchange says is needed for a review. – Joe W Nov 14 '20 at 1:36
  • What are you referring to? – user76284 Nov 14 '20 at 1:37
  • 1
    @user76284 They where free to delete their own answer if they thought it was wrong. – Joe W Nov 14 '20 at 1:37
  • And I'm free to flag it for it being off-topic, which is explicitly one of the default reasons for flagging. Would you like to explain the reason given for declining the flag? – user76284 Nov 14 '20 at 1:38
  • 4
    @user76284 The answer getting the review completed is why the flag was declined, at least that is my understanding. – Joe W Nov 14 '20 at 1:38
  • 4
    @user76284 because the review said it wasn't low quality which causes the flag to be declined. – Joe W Nov 14 '20 at 1:41
  • 4
    @user76284: So-called "frame challenge" answers are generally acceptable, although if they are of poor quality they may be downvoted. – Kevin Nov 17 '20 at 21:31
  • 1
    @user76284: The OP is asking why a recount is "better", where in context, "better" refers to the quality of being the desirable mode of performing the recount. For example, if a hand-recount were required by law, then it'd be the "better" option because the alternative would be illegal. Or, as the answer you flagged argues, that option may be "better" for the decision-makers because it may serve their purposes. If you disagree with the answer or find it to otherwise be of low-quality, that's what downvotes are for; however, it does attempt to address the substance of the question. – Nat Nov 26 '20 at 9:22
  • 1
    @user76284: To note it, StackExchange Q&A is generally about providing readers who're interested in the question with useful information. For example, if someone asks how to send funds to a scammer who emailed them, then a good answer would probably explain how it's a scam and how no funds should be sent; we may even want to downvote an answer that responds to the literal question, because even though it provided a literal answer, it would be a poor response to the overall question. Likewise, an answer that assumes that political decisions are based solely on technical merits would be silly. – Nat Nov 26 '20 at 9:30
  • 1
    @user76284: The OP references those concepts in describing their confusion over the choice of a hand-recount, but the question isn't specifically focused on those issues just because it mentions them. Honestly I'm not really sure how you could read the question that way. But, yeah, I can see why you'd think the flagged answer was off-topic if that's how you read it. I suppose the accepted answer looks off-topic, too? – Nat Nov 26 '20 at 11:23
  • 1
    @user76284: The OP accepted an answer that's inconsistent with your interpretation of the question, so it seems reasonable to assume that the OP didn't mean it as you read it nor did most folks interpret it that way either. – Nat Nov 26 '20 at 11:48

I think in this situation you are better off to downvote if you disagree with the usefulness of the answer, rather than flagging it as not-an-answer. In turn, people who disagree with you can upvote.

The bar for answers to be removed as not-an-answer is relatively high. In most cases where it isn't clear, the answer should remain. Mods may use their judgment sometimes if an answer seems likely to draw in negative attention and apply a stricter standard, in particular if they feel the answer is not in good faith.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .