How to vote on a referendum


When we want to make changes on the Centrifuge blockchain, things have to go through a governance process, where the last step is to vote on a referendum. A referendum is a public vote, where all token holders can use their tokens (CFG or AIR) to vote Aye (yes) or Nay (no) on a proposal.

This short tutorial will explain how to vote on a referendum. If you want to understand how the whole governance process works, including more details on referenda, I recommend to read this manual.

:bulb: Always make sure you know what the referendum vote is about before casting your vote. All announcements of referenda are posted here on the Forum, so the community knows what they are voting on. We announce them on Discord as well.

All voting currently takes place either on Subsquare or in the Polkadot portal.


When there are active referenda, they will appear here in the portal.

In this screenshot, there is an active referendum and if we want to vote on it, we simply click on “vote” next to the referendum. Then this window will open:

a) Select the account you want to vote with
b) Select the amount you want to vote with
c) Select your conviction (see explanation of conviction below)
d) Select whether you vote Aye (yes) or Nay (no)

:white_check_mark: Sign the transaction, and you have voted.

:bulb: It is possible to vote with tokens, that are already locked in other referenda. In short, as long as you have tokens in your wallet, you can always use them to vote with, regardless of whether they are locked or not.


Voting with conviction is a unique and powerful feature in the Polkadot ecosystem. It allows everyone - but especially smaller token holders - to increase their voting power. What it basically means, is that you can use up to 6X the amount of tokens you vote with, by locking them up for a longer period of time.

If you don’t choose any conviction, the system will select the 0.1X by default. This means that you only vote with 10% of your tokens, but on the other hand, they will be unlocked as soon as the referendum vote ends.

This screenshot shows a voting period of 7 days (to the far left on the timeline) because that is generally the length of public referenda (created by the public, as opposed to the council). Council referenda are typically shorter and can be as short as 3 hours.

For example, if you vote with 100 CFG, your actual voting power will be determined by the conviction you choose.

Conviction Lock-up :lock: Actual voting power
0.1X 0 days 10 CFG
1X 8 days 100 CFG
2X 16 days 200 CFG
3X 32 days 300 CFG
4X 64 days 400 CFG
5X 128 days 500 CFG
6X 256 days 600 CFG

:lock: The lock-up period is in days after the referendum voting has ended.

Regardless of what conviction you vote with, you will get your tokens back after some time - you will not lose them.

You can always change your vote from Aye to Nay, or vice versa, after having voted - along with the amount and your conviction - as long as the referendum is ongoing.

:bulb: If you want to vote with all your tokens, you have to choose the 1X conviction. Your tokens will be unlocked 8 days after the referendum ends, and if you are a long term holder, you might as well vote with higher conviction to maximize your voting power.


To get your locked tokens back after voting, you have to unlock them manually after the lock has expired.

You can see how many tokens you have locked in referenda, by going to the account section of the portal and click on the timer icon. To unlock the expired ones, simply click on the three dots, select “Clear expired democracy locks” and sign the transaction.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them in below.

:ballot_box: Happy voting!


nice text. so, basicallly, you can go vote with any type of tokens, transferrable, locked, vested, bonded, democracy locked?


Hey @Vad, yes that’s exactly what it means :ok_hand:

If you can see them in your wallet, you can vote with them.


Hi, nice tutorial, How we can have informations about the referundum ? In the democracy screen (as showen in the first picture of the tuto) the name and the information about the proposal and the referendum are not given clearly ! Ex i need to know what is about to vote on, hope you understand my question.

thanks in advance

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Hi Alma. Welcome to Centrifuge! Unfortunately the information given in the Polkadot portal is limited but recently Centrifuge and Altair were integrated into Subsquare where you can also vote on proposals and referenda. The Subsquare UI contains more info: :point_down:


Hi @Med, as @Tjure07 mentions, our recent integration of Subsquare as our Governance UI, gives us this option.

However, the title of the referendum on Subsquare has to be edited manually by the account who created the proposal/council motion in the first place.

And there will also be a link to the discussion of a proposal here on the Forum from Subsquare.