Paper 2022/310

Dispute-free Scalable Open Vote Network using zk-SNARKs

Muhammad ElSheikh and Amr M. Youssef


The Open Vote Network is a self-tallying decentralized e-voting protocol suitable for boardroom elections. Currently, it has two Ethereum-based implementations: the first, by McCorry et al., has a scalability issue since all the computations are performed on-chain. The second implementation, by Seifelnasr et al., solves this issue partially by assigning a part of the heavy computations to an off-chain untrusted administrator in a verifiable manner. As a side effect, this second implementation became not dispute-free; there is a need for a tally dispute phase where an observer interrupts the protocol when the administrator cheats, i.e., announces a wrong tally result. In this work, we propose a new smart contract design to tackle the problems in the previous implementations by (i) preforming all the heavy computations off-chain hence achieving higher scalability, and (ii) utilizing zero-knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARK) to verify the correctness of the off-chain computations, hence maintaining the dispute-free property. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our design, we develop prototype implementations on Ethereum and conduct multiple experiments for different implementation options that show a trade-off between the zk-SNARK proof generation time and the smart contract gas cost, including an implementation in which the smart contract consumes a constant amount of gas independent of the number of voters.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. MINOR revision.Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2022 (FC 2022) workshops, WTSC'22
Open Vote NetworkE-votingBlockchainzk-SNARKSmart contractsEthereum
Contact author(s)
m_elshei @ encs concordia ca
2022-03-07: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Muhammad ElSheikh and Amr M.  Youssef},
      title = {Dispute-free Scalable Open Vote Network using zk-SNARKs},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/310},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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