Polkadot and Kusama allow community members to participate and influence decisions through a decentralized voting system. Polkadot governance is a crucial instrument for shaping the direction of the network and ensuring that decisions align with the community's values and goals. This article will explore how to vote in any proposed referendum using the new Polkadot OpenGov system.


This article describes how to vote using Polkadot-JS UI. Visit the article "Polkadot OpenGov: How to Participate" to learn how to do it from Polkassembly and Subsquare.


Tools for Polkadot OpenGov

Built by the community, several tools allow you to participate in the governance of Polkadot and Kusama. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Polkassembly. It offers a place to discuss, add contextual information to the referenda, vote, and delegate your voting power.
  • Subsquare. It shows contextual information submitted on Polkassembly or Subsquare. It allows commenting on each referendum and also voting and delegating.
  • Bright Treasury. A tool focused on proposals, bounties, and referenda on treasury matters.
  • Nova Wallet. Mobile wallet with extensive tools to facilitate voting and delegating from your own wallet.

Voting on Polkadot-JS UI


Polkadot-JS UI is a web wallet meant for power users and developers. For everyday use, there are several user-friendly wallets funded by the Polkadot Treasury that support a plethora of features and platforms. Discover them on Polkadot's homepage.

If you have an account on Polkadot-JS UI or it is connected to the UI (e.g. using the Polkadot extension), you can vote directly on the trusted Polkadot-JS UI in a few simple steps:

1. On Polkadot-JS UI, go to the "Governance" > "Referenda" tab.

2. On this page, you will be presented with a filter for the tracks for which there are active referenda. For information about the different tracks, you can read this wiki article.

3. For each referendum, information like the index of the referendum, proposer, who made the decision deposit, its status, votes weight in favor or against the referendum, and a voting button are shown. If you click on the rightmost down arrow, you can expand the current status for each ongoing referendum:

The "Approval" graph plots a horizontal line representing the current percentage of voting power (balance multiplied by conviction) voting in favor (ayes) of that referendum.

The "Support" graph represents the percentage of "ayes" plus abstentions out of the total possible number of votes (excluding conviction adjustments) that can be made within the system.

The orange line in both graphs indicates the minimum threshold for approval and support that a referendum must keep to be approved. Each track has different thresholds and conditions to meet. Read this wiki article for further details about these and other parameters in OpenGov.

It's important to notice that each referendum should be accompanied by contextual information about it, but that information is not stored on-chain, so Polkadot-JS UI can't show it. You can click on the Polkassembly or Subsquare icons on each referendum (bottom left corner) to discuss and read further about each referendum. These are the de facto sites built by the community where the proposers can share info about their proposals.

4. By clicking on the "Vote" button, a new panel pops up with the following information:

  • The account we will be voting from (1).
  • The direction of the vote (2)
    • "Aye" in favor of the referendum.
    • "Nay," against it.
    • "Split," you can split your voting power into both options.
    • "Abstain," your vote will count for the referendum support (total voting balance) but not for its approval (voting power ratio of "Ayes" or "Nays").
  • The voting balance (3). The amount of DOT (or KSM) you will vote with. If you are voting from a delegate account, the delegated voting power won’t be visible here, but it will be taken into account for the referendum result.
  • The conviction you are voting with (4). It's a multiplier to your voting balance, so these two determine your "voting power." The greater the conviction, the greater your voting power and the longer the tokens will be locked for that referendum. Learn more about "conviction locking" in our wiki article "Voluntary Locking."


Locks applied to your assets overlap. It means that with the same locked balance you could vote on several referenda at the same time.

Read our Support article for further information of types of balances.

5. After setting your vote, click on "Vote." Review the transaction details on the new panel and click "Sign and Submit." And that's it, you just voted on a referendum!


If you want to participate in Polkadot OpenGov but you either don't have time to review all the referenda or you think other people can be more knowledgeable than you about certain topics, you can delegate your voting power to trusted members.

Learn how to do it in the article "Polkadot OpenGov: How to Delegate your Voting Power."

Discussion channels

Our Kusama Direction and Polkadot Direction channels on Matrix are dedicated to discussions and announcements related to governance. If you have an interest in participating in governance or staying up-to-date with the latest referenda, we encourage you to join these channels and engage in the discussions happening there.