Nothing is more fundamental and valuable than a citizen’s right to vote and for that vote to be securely and accurately counted. It is an absolute duty of government to preserve the vote, and it strongly behooves government to show transparency in doing so.
Recent events point up the sensitivity of the issue of voting fraud, not only ineligible persons voting, but also counting of the vote.
When buying or renting vote-counting machines, the state should know exactly what happens inside them. Any IT specialist will tell you that unexamined computer code operating a complicated system can pass routine public tests while unobtrusively being manipulated toward private goals. (Ask the Iranians about Stuxnet!) I am extremely leery of proprietary claims regarding information or code used to process votes.
It is clear, especially since Citizens United, that interested parties will spend essentially unlimited amounts to affect elections. It is potentially less expensive, and more effective, to modify a vote count than to buy votes with electioneering.
From my experience with NASA, I know that proprietary information can be given legal protection while handled by civil servants. In a local example, Colorado is requiring companies that intend to do fracking to disclose to career civil servants the chemicals in their proprietary mixtures before the fluid may be injected into the ground.
I propose a bill stating that all source code used in voting machines in Colorado shall be fully examined by career state employees (specifically, not elected or politically appointed), and then compiled, assembled and installed by no one except career government employees. To protect suppliers’ legitimate interests, those employees would be subject to civil and criminal penalties for inappropriately disclosing confidential details supplied by the manufacturers of voting machines used in the state.