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It happened to me that I wanted to close a question as duplicate of another, but the site refused to do that, because the other question didn't have an upvoted answer. To my surprise there is an (at the moment of writing still ongoing) close voting, where the linked question doesn't have any answers yet:

How is that close voting possible? Is there a certain reputation level you have to reach such that you can overrule the default behavior?

  • I think (and I couldn't find a reference just now) that you usually can only vote to close as a duplicate of a question with answers, but sometimes the system will allow duplication to questions with no answers. I seem to remember that the text in the second case is slightly different and that it only applies in very narrow circumstances (probably the asker has to be the same person, the question need to be asked in short succession, something like that) where people are just re-asking without waiting for an answer. – moewe Sep 18 at 5:17
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    Aha: tex.stackexchange.com/help/duplicates says The original question generally must have an answer; questions may only be marked as duplicates of unanswered questions on meta sites, when the questions share the same author, or when closed by a moderator. – moewe Sep 18 at 5:24
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This appears to be normal procedure and no special powers were needed in this case. https://tex.stackexchange.com/help/duplicates says

The original question generally must have an answer; questions may only be marked as duplicates of unanswered questions on meta sites, when the questions share the same author, or when closed by a moderator.

Presumably this exception is there to allow for duplicate closing when one user asks the same question again.

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