It's been quite a while since this request was escalated to the Community Team — sorry for the long wait!
You now officially only need 3 close votes to close a question on Genealogy & Family History SE!
After looking at the data, I think it's clear that there's no reason for y'all to have this threshold set at 5. Thank you so much for bearing with us while we got to this request.
We'll check back in with you all in a few months to see how things are going in this regard — if things are going great, we may not post an update, but please feel free to leave a comment here if you want us to post something.
Here are some basic stats on how things looked before this change:
It's worth noting that, over the course of a month, you don't get a lot of close-worthy questions - at least, you don't close a lot of them. Of those, all of them were closed by the site moderators, either alone or with votes from other users.
This is visible in the chart below - fewer than 10 questions get closed in the average month, with the exception of February 2021 (when 16 questions were closed). Historically, it looks like there was more community participation in question closure; however, starting in September 2021, the Moderators_Closed line is identical to the All_Closed line, because the only posts that ended up being closed were closed by mods. (The lines for reopened questions are all near the bottom – not very many closed questions get reopened on this site, which is not particularly uncommon.)
As such, this change may help out here.
Hopefully, it will also help with getting the percentage of questions that are nominated for closure handled – while it's often in the 100% range, there are times when it's much lower (in the 70-85% range, and recently dipping to 50%). However, this doesn't mean that there are a ton of posts with close votes going unhandled; since so few posts get closed here, that really only corresponds to a couple of posts per month when it's low.
It's worth noting that there are not that many people around who can cast close/reopen votes. Only users with at least 500 rep can cast close/reopen votes on the Genealogy & Family History site. There are actually a total of 114 users who have enough reputation to have this privilege, but only 17 have been active on the site in the past week (only 30 in the past month) – and that's including the site mods.
Hopefully, having the close vote threshold lowered to 3 will help ensure that the community is able to handle posts with close votes and ease the load on the site moderators – but you'll still need to keep an eye on the review queues to catch those posts while they have active close votes. Our hope is that lowering the close vote threshold to 3 for Genealogy & Family History SE can ease the load on the mods at least a little, but more regular users with the privilege need to participate in closures for that to happen.