Both a moderator and I made comments on an answer to this question today to the effect that it (i) did not address the OP's question in any way and (ii) proposed lying to avoid having to face the issue posed in the question. The author of the answer has acknowledged the need for an edit but two hours later had not made any edit, meanwhile it still accrued votes.
Before any edit was made the answer had received 55 votes (41 upvotes, 14 downvotes) and has since accrued more. I believe that an edit to an answer allows previous voters to change their vote (assuming they become aware of the edit and can be bothered re-reading it and changing their vote), but still the votes remain.
My first concern is that an answer could be substantially changed - every word of it - after it has received votes and retain those. This could work either way - a good answer could receive lots of positive votes and then later be changed to a terrible or inappropriate answer. Alternatively a poor answer could receive a flood of downvotes and then later be improved, but now it has to fight the previous downvotes.
I appreciate that a contributer has the option of posting a completely new answer rather than edit their old one, but my concern is more that it could be misused. There was similar concern in recent history over how Facebook posts can be completely edited but retain "likes"; for example a photo of a kitten could accrue thousands of "likes" and then be switched for a photo of Hitler. That might be an extreme and unlikely example for IPS - but what if someone wrote an answer which wasn't completely inflammatory but tapped into the general population's feelings over an emotive topic (take your pick - gender or sexuality issues, whatever), gained a high number of "knee-jerk" upvotes, and then later appends or rewrites it to be far more right-wing. If the previous upvotes had ensured this had risen to the top as the most popular answer it would be a very bad representation of what the site is about. If it was deeply unpleasant then sure, mods could flag for deletion, but it would have to have crossed a line, and I have seen answers skirt the edges.
My secondary concern from this is that for all the strict moderating of questions and answers to ensure that this site is not "opinion based", votes clearly are opinion-based (obvious I suppose). But further to that, votes clearly ignore the guidelines of what a "good" answer is. Allowing votes to remain on answers which have changed from "good" to "bad" or vice-versa surely misrepresents the standards of the site?
With these points in mind, should anything be done to prevent answers, especially ones that do not meet the site guidelines, from retaining accrued votes after substantial edits or complete re-writes?