Voting machines containing 'secrets'

Bruce Schneier posts about a Florida judge who so denied the request of a defeated election candidate to inspect the source code of a voting machine's software:
"For this Court to grant Plaintiffs' motions would require this Court to find that it is reasonably necessary for the Plaintiffs to have access to the trade secrets of Defendant, Election Systems & Software, Inc., based on nothing more than speculation and conjecture, and would result in destroying or at least gutting the protections afforded those who own the trade secrets."
My response:

How many "trade secrets" is it that you can actually have in an election machine? How is that interface any more complicated than displaying a few buttons and recording the results in some format?

It looks to me like the complexity of the software in those machines should equal something that can be done in a few weeks' time by any capable programming student.

There are no trade secrets in there. There can't be; there isn't room for any.

If the manufacturer of those machines claims that there are secrets requiring protection, there can be only one type of secret - the sinister type. And that is all the more a reason to be suspicious and investigate the technology.

A manufacturer of such machines should be open about the internals and willing to prove their quality - not trying to hide the innards. What have they got to hide?


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