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

Can Georgia’s electronic voting machines be trusted?
 When Georgia voters cast their ballots this fall, some will wonder whether the state’s outdated touchscreen voting machines are safe and accurate. Election officials say voters have nothing to fear, but election integrity advocates say there’s good reason to worry. Electronic voting machines could be hacked if someone got...

Posted: 3 days ago

When Georgia voters cast their ballots this fall, some will wonder whether the state’s outdated touchscreen voting machines are safe and accurate. Election officials say voters have nothing to fear, but election integrity advocates say there’s good reason to worry. Electronic voting machines could be hacked if someone got...
Redo of Georgia House election ordered after voters cast wrong ballots
 A judge on Wednesday ordered a redo of an election for a North Georgia state House district where dozens of voters cast ballots in the wrong race. The repeat election will give state Rep. Dan Gasaway, a Republican from Homer, a second chance to retain his seat in the General Assembly after he had appeared to lose the party’s May...

Posted: 4 days ago

A judge on Wednesday ordered a redo of an election for a North Georgia state House district where dozens of voters cast ballots in the wrong race. The repeat election will give state Rep. Dan Gasaway, a Republican from Homer, a second chance to retain his seat in the General Assembly after he had appeared to lose the party’s May...
Judge says Georgia elections at risk but rules against paper ballots
 Georgia voters will continue to use touchscreens to cast their ballots this fall, perhaps for the last time. A federal judge found a “concrete risk” that Georgia’s electronic voting system is vulnerable to tampering, but she ruled against a quick switch to paper ballots less than four weeks before early voting begins...

Posted: 5 days ago

Georgia voters will continue to use touchscreens to cast their ballots this fall, perhaps for the last time. A federal judge found a “concrete risk” that Georgia’s electronic voting system is vulnerable to tampering, but she ruled against a quick switch to paper ballots less than four weeks before early voting begins...
Federal judge rejects paper ballots for 2018 Georgia election
 A federal judge ruled Monday that Georgia can continue using electronic voting machines in November’s election despite concerns they could be hacked. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg denied a request for an injunction that would have forced the state’s 6.8 million voters to switch to hand-marked paper ballots. Totenberg...

Posted: 6 days ago

A federal judge ruled Monday that Georgia can continue using electronic voting machines in November’s election despite concerns they could be hacked. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg denied a request for an injunction that would have forced the state’s 6.8 million voters to switch to hand-marked paper ballots. Totenberg...
Federal judge weighs throwing out Georgia electronic voting machines
 A federal judge said in court Wednesday she’s considering whether the threat of election hacking and foreign interference justifies replacing Georgia’s electronic voting system with paper ballots just weeks before the general election. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg said she’ll decide within days whether to force Georgia...

Posted: 11 days ago

A federal judge said in court Wednesday she’s considering whether the threat of election hacking and foreign interference justifies replacing Georgia’s electronic voting system with paper ballots just weeks before the general election. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg said she’ll decide within days whether to force Georgia...
Incorrect Georgia voter registration forms remain in use
 Georgia election officials are continuing to use inaccurate paper voter registration applications until replacement forms arrive. These outdated applications incorrectly say proof of residence is required when someone registers to vote. Under federal election law, applicants don’t have to verify their names and addresses until...

Posted: 12 days ago

Georgia election officials are continuing to use inaccurate paper voter registration applications until replacement forms arrive. These outdated applications incorrectly say proof of residence is required when someone registers to vote. Under federal election law, applicants don’t have to verify their names and addresses until...
Petition for paper ballots in Georgia denied by state board
 The Georgia State Election Board voted unanimously Tuesday to deny a request to require hand-marked paper ballots in November’s election. The board’s 4-0 vote came one day before a federal judge will consider a lawsuit seeking to mandate paper ballots in the Nov. 6 general election. Election integrity advocates say Georgia&rsquo...

Posted: 12 days ago

The Georgia State Election Board voted unanimously Tuesday to deny a request to require hand-marked paper ballots in November’s election. The board’s 4-0 vote came one day before a federal judge will consider a lawsuit seeking to mandate paper ballots in the Nov. 6 general election. Election integrity advocates say Georgia&rsquo...
Voter registration deadline approaches for Georgia election
 There’s less than a month left to register to vote in November’s election for Georgia governor, Congress and more. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 9 for Georgians who want to participate in the Nov. 6 general election. Nearly 84,000 new voters have already registered since the May 22 primary election, bringing...

Posted: 13 days ago

There’s less than a month left to register to vote in November’s election for Georgia governor, Congress and more. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 9 for Georgians who want to participate in the Nov. 6 general election. Nearly 84,000 new voters have already registered since the May 22 primary election, bringing...
Could small-town power companies bring internet to rural Georgia?
 Over Blood Mountain in rustic North Georgia, internet service was spotty, slow or nonexistent. Students drove to Chick-fil-A to do their homework online because it had Wi-Fi. Businesses set up shop in bigger cities. Families struggled to stream movies on Netflix. That began to change several years ago when a couple of local power utilities...

Posted: 14 days ago

Over Blood Mountain in rustic North Georgia, internet service was spotty, slow or nonexistent. Students drove to Chick-fil-A to do their homework online because it had Wi-Fi. Businesses set up shop in bigger cities. Families struggled to stream movies on Netflix. That began to change several years ago when a couple of local power utilities...
Judge will decide whether to order Georgia voters to use paper ballots
 A federal judge could rule Wednesday on a far-reaching request to switch Georgia from electronic to paper ballots just eight weeks before November’s election. Changing the state’s voting system on short notice would be a dramatic change, but concerned voters and election integrity groups say it would eliminate the possibility...

Posted: 13 days ago

A federal judge could rule Wednesday on a far-reaching request to switch Georgia from electronic to paper ballots just eight weeks before November’s election. Changing the state’s voting system on short notice would be a dramatic change, but concerned voters and election integrity groups say it would eliminate the possibility...
Georgia adoption changes go into law
 A major overhaul of Georgia’s adoption laws went into effect this month, lifting some of the hurdles facing couples who want to adopt a child. The adoption law, which took force Sept. 1, will ensure that Georgia residents can  stay in-state rather than traveling elsewhere to adopt, said state Rep. Bert Reeves, the sponsor of the House...

Posted: 18 days ago

A major overhaul of Georgia’s adoption laws went into effect this month, lifting some of the hurdles facing couples who want to adopt a child. The adoption law, which took force Sept. 1, will ensure that Georgia residents can stay in-state rather than traveling elsewhere to adopt, said state Rep. Bert Reeves, the sponsor of the House...