As a relative newcomer to ELU, I'm often struck by the lack of voting on questions here, and especially upvoting. It might be case that you receive many poor questions, but compared to for instance BiologySE (where I'm more active) the difference is striking. There, voting on questions is more generous and liberal than voting on answers, following the principle that many can evaluate the quality of questions while it's more difficult to evaluate if answers are correct. Here at ELU, the pattern seems to be almost the opposite.
Looking a questions from the last two days (112 questions), 70 of them have a score of 0 or lower (median zero, 22 with a negative score), even if many of them, to me, live up to the statement: "This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear". As comparison, the number of zero or lower voted questions out of the last 100 at a couple of other SE-sites is (number of Qs with a negative score in parenthesis): Academia-SE 35/100 (14), Biology-SE 33/100 (11), and Tex-SE 33/100 (2). I understand that communities are different, but I still think these numbers can be informative. Overall, the lack of upvoting seems to be the biggest issue for ELU, and the average scores of upvoted questions at the other sites are also much higher.
My main point is that the initial impression of ELU is rather hostile and focused on negatives. Since people here seem rather hesitant to vote up, it is also easy for single downvotes to tip the scales so that questions (and answers) end up with a negative score. Again, some questions and answers certainly deserve this, but to me, many useful questions and answers end up with a score of zero or lower at ELU.
For full disclosure, this post was sparked by my own last question, which currently has a single downvote. This question is certainly not excellent or very advanced, but I fail to see why the overall impression should be: "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful".
Help me understand why voting on questions is so sparse at ELU, and why there is a relative lack of upvotes compared to many other StackExchange sites?
What makes ELU different?