That is correct, it never got finished and as a result has never been used. I proposed a few years ago to remove it from the core until we had a working solution, but I got some resistance to that idea.
The description from Tom is more or less what I would expect it to do in its basic form : you have a calculated value that is updated each time someone votes, and that value is the one that is retrieved at display time. Each user should have a list in his user profile with all the votes that he cast. Perhaps it would be a useful feature to let admins determine if votes can be changed once cast, or even removed. A rating type would be interesting to have : for example when rating a module, you can define that there are multiple ratings that you want to capture : ease of installation, feature set, compatibility with existing modules, ... That means that you need to be able to link the vote to an object, and also define for this type of object which categories of votes can be cast.
A good place to integrate this would be the downloads module (which has other issues), there the voting
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