Any potential validators can indicate their intention to be a validator candidate. Their candidacies are made public to all delegators, and a delegator in turn submits a list of any number of candidates that it supports. In the next epoch, a certain number of validators having the most KAI backing get elected and become active. There are no particular requirements for a KAI holder to become a delegator, though we expect each delegator to carefully track the performance and reputation of validators.
Once the delegation period ends, the DPOS election mechanism takes the delegator and their associated votes as input, and outputs a set of validators of the required size, that maximizes the stake backing of any validator, and that makes the stakes backing validators as evenly distributed as possible. The objectives of this election mechanism are to maximize the security of the network, and achieve fair representation of the delegators.