Mark Niesse

Georgia government reporter

Mark Niesse covers Georgia government. He previously covered DeKalb government and Atlanta schools. Before coming to the AJC, he worked for The Associated Press and The Daily Report.

Latest from Mark Niesse

Less than half as many Georgia voters showed up for runoffs
 Turnout for Georgia’s statewide runoffs fell off from last month’s high-interest election for governor, but more voters showed up than in most runoff elections. About 21 percent of registered voters — nearly 1.5 million — cast ballots in the Dec. 4 runoff elections for Georgia secretary of state and Public Service...

Posted: 21 hours ago

Turnout for Georgia’s statewide runoffs fell off from last month’s high-interest election for governor, but more voters showed up than in most runoff elections. About 21 percent of registered voters — nearly 1.5 million — cast ballots in the Dec. 4 runoff elections for Georgia secretary of state and Public Service...
Disagreement persists over replacement Georgia voting system
 A group responsible for vetting a more secure and trustworthy Georgia voting system struggled Wednesday to reach agreement over whether to pursue hand-marked paper ballots or touchscreen machines that print ballots. The group of election officials, state lawmakers, political party representatives and voters debated the state’s options...

Posted: 2 days ago

A group responsible for vetting a more secure and trustworthy Georgia voting system struggled Wednesday to reach agreement over whether to pursue hand-marked paper ballots or touchscreen machines that print ballots. The group of election officials, state lawmakers, political party representatives and voters debated the state’s options...
Medical marijuana farming and sales proposed in Georgia
 Georgia lawmakers are recommending that the state government pass laws next year to allow hemp farming and cannabis oil distribution. The proposals from two Republican-led committees would help provide medical marijuana to Georgia’s 6,000 registered patients and give farmers another crop to support themselves. Cultivation...

Posted: 3 days ago

Georgia lawmakers are recommending that the state government pass laws next year to allow hemp farming and cannabis oil distribution. The proposals from two Republican-led committees would help provide medical marijuana to Georgia’s 6,000 registered patients and give farmers another crop to support themselves. Cultivation...
Georgia lawmakers seek rural internet growth and health care changes
 To revitalize rural Georgia, lawmakers are proposing public funding for high-speed internet service, changes in hospital regulations and permission for farms to sell wine directly to customers. A new tax on streaming video, digital books and downloaded music would raise money for rural internet subsidies, according to recommendations...

Posted: 8 days ago

To revitalize rural Georgia, lawmakers are proposing public funding for high-speed internet service, changes in hospital regulations and permission for farms to sell wine directly to customers. A new tax on streaming video, digital books and downloaded music would raise money for rural internet subsidies, according to recommendations...
Incoming Georgia secretary of state will continue Kemp’s legacy
 As Georgia’s next top elections official, Republican Brad Raffensperger promises to defend broad voter-registration cancellations and strict voting requirements that have fueled accusations of widespread disenfranchisement. Raffensperger, the winner of Tuesday’s runoff for Georgia secretary of state, will continue the work of...

Posted: 9 days ago

As Georgia’s next top elections official, Republican Brad Raffensperger promises to defend broad voter-registration cancellations and strict voting requirements that have fueled accusations of widespread disenfranchisement. Raffensperger, the winner of Tuesday’s runoff for Georgia secretary of state, will continue the work of...
Barrow concedes to Raffensperger in Georgia secretary of state race
 Democrat John Barrow ended his run for Georgia secretary of state Wednesday, conceding that Republican Brad Raffensperger held an insurmountable lead. Barrow, a former U.S. congressman, trailed Raffensperger by about 4 percentage points and 57,000 votes, according to preliminary results of Tuesday’s runoff election...

Posted: 9 days ago

Democrat John Barrow ended his run for Georgia secretary of state Wednesday, conceding that Republican Brad Raffensperger held an insurmountable lead. Barrow, a former U.S. congressman, trailed Raffensperger by about 4 percentage points and 57,000 votes, according to preliminary results of Tuesday’s runoff election...
Georgia Republicans appear to win races for secretary of state and PSC
 Republican candidates appeared to hold onto two powerful Georgia offices in runoffs Tuesday, but ballots were still being counted for secretary of state and Public Service Commission. Republican Brad Raffensperger declared victory over Democrat John Barrow in the race for Georgia secretary of state, one of Georgia’s most powerful...

Posted: 10 days ago

Republican candidates appeared to hold onto two powerful Georgia offices in runoffs Tuesday, but ballots were still being counted for secretary of state and Public Service Commission. Republican Brad Raffensperger declared victory over Democrat John Barrow in the race for Georgia secretary of state, one of Georgia’s most powerful...
Redo Georgia House election still too close to call
 A redo election for a North Georgia seat in the state House of Representatives remained unsettled Tuesday, with just three votes separating the two Republican candidates. The repeat election between state Rep. Dan Gasaway and challenger Chris Erwin was ordered by a judge because dozens of voters received ballots for the ...

Posted: 10 days ago

A redo election for a North Georgia seat in the state House of Representatives remained unsettled Tuesday, with just three votes separating the two Republican candidates. The repeat election between state Rep. Dan Gasaway and challenger Chris Erwin was ordered by a judge because dozens of voters received ballots for the ...
Voters redo botched Georgia House election 
 North Georgia voters will cast ballots Tuesday in a rare do-over election for a state House seat. A judge ordered a rare second election after dozens of voters received ballots for the wrong race in the May 22 Republican primary election. State Rep. Dan Gasaway appeared to lose the primary to Chris Erwin by 67 votes, but Gasaway discovered...

Posted: 11 days ago

North Georgia voters will cast ballots Tuesday in a rare do-over election for a state House seat. A judge ordered a rare second election after dozens of voters received ballots for the wrong race in the May 22 Republican primary election. State Rep. Dan Gasaway appeared to lose the primary to Chris Erwin by 67 votes, but Gasaway discovered...
Early voting in Georgia slumps before Tuesday runoff election
 Early voting turnout before Georgia runoff election Tuesday plunged compared to last month’s highly anticipated general election. About one-fifth as many voters cast ballots in advance of the runoff, according to data from the Secretary of State’s Office. More than 402,000 Georgians voted early for the runoff after 2.1 million...

Posted: 11 days ago

Early voting turnout before Georgia runoff election Tuesday plunged compared to last month’s highly anticipated general election. About one-fifth as many voters cast ballots in advance of the runoff, according to data from the Secretary of State’s Office. More than 402,000 Georgians voted early for the runoff after 2.1 million...
Voting rights at stake in runoff for Georgia elections chief
 After an election marred by voting problems, Georgia voters will decide in Tuesday’s runoff who should fix them. One candidate for Georgia secretary of state wants to tackle voter purges, long lines and voting rights. His opponent prefers leaving most elections management to county officials and improving training...

Posted: 15 days ago

After an election marred by voting problems, Georgia voters will decide in Tuesday’s runoff who should fix them. One candidate for Georgia secretary of state wants to tackle voter purges, long lines and voting rights. His opponent prefers leaving most elections management to county officials and improving training...