Now that the EOS mainnet is live and the Block Producer (BP) election process has started, 15% of the EOS tokens need to vote so that the chain is considered valid. At the time of writing, 18,545,706.0046 EOS (1.8545%) have voted. This guide attempts to answer the most common questions related to the EOS voting process.
Q: If no block producers have been elected yet, who is currently running the mainnet?
A: At the start of this initial election period, 21 BPs were randomly chosen from the pool of BP candidates to run the EOS blockchain. Once this initial election is over, the 21 appointed BPs are replaced with the elected BPs.
Q: Do the 21 elected block producers keep their position forever? In other words, how often is there an election?
A: No, unlike in real life, in EOS, voting is a continuous, never-ending process, with votes being recalculated every two minutes to ensure that the set of "active" BPs is constantly changing. So, if BPs want to keep their "job", they need to make sure they are doing a good job; otherwise some of the "standby" BPs could get more votes and take over from them. You can vote and change your vote as many times you want. At any time, there can only be only 21 active BPs.
Q: Can anyone vote?
A: Anyone who has at least one registered EOS token can vote.
Q: What does it mean to vote for a block producer?
A: Each "staked" token can potentially vote for up to 30 different BPs. Votes are weighted by the quantity of tokens being staked. The 21 BPs receiving the most stake-weighted votes get elected as active BPs. Although each staked token can represent up to 30 votes, each vote must be for a different BP. For example, if you are staking just one EOS toke and your favorite BP happens to be "EOS Canada", you can't use this one token to vote 30 times for "EOS Canada". Also, it is worth noting that you can delegate your voting power to someone else.
Q: How often can I vote?
A: You can change your votes many times, but each time you "unstake" a token, it will stay "locked up" for up to three days. So, for example, if you hold just one toke, you can't vote for a different set of BPs every day.
Q: How much does it cost to vote?
A: Voting is free.
Q: What are the criteria I need to consider when choosing block producers?
A: You should try to vote for BPs that are in diverse locations and that have transparent governance models, experienced internal teams, high end hardware, and willingness to use a portion of earnings to support the DApp ecosystem.
Q: How do I research block producer candidates?
A: You can use the website developed for this purpose by EOS Go.
Q: How do I vote?
A: There is an excellent post on Reddit that lists four of the available options and the pros/cons of each. There are also quite a few other voting tools, such as the one created by Tokenica. However, the only officially supported method is via the "cleos" command line tool developed by Block.one. There is a nice tutorial about installing and using this tool on StackExchange for those who are feeling brave enough.
Q: How can I check the progress of the election process?
A: Currently, one of the candidate BPs, EOS Authority, has a page on its website that displays what percentage of the tokens have voted so far.