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1. Closing the vents in the lower level will make the lower level even cooler then upstairs. In winter if you leave them closed, the difference will be large. Leave them open.
2. Heat does not rise. Air that is warmed, and thus lighter then cooler air, is what rises.

Solutions to your problem:

1. As stated, you may have in sufficient insulation in the attic
2. You may have incorrectly sized vents
3. The vents may be leaking - thus not delivering sufficient air either downstairs or upstairs
4. You may need more insulation at the lower level
5. The insulation in your walls is failing
6. You may need more insulation around the lower level walls.

What to do?
You may want to consider an energy audit. That will tell you what is really going on.
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