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

Candidate disqualified from Georgia election over citizenship sues
 A candidate for the Georgia House of Representatives who became a U.S. citizen last year is appealing her disqualification from this year’s elections. Maria Palacios, a policy analyst for the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, filed a lawsuit Sunday to overturn Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s decision...

Posted: 13 hours ago

A candidate for the Georgia House of Representatives who became a U.S. citizen last year is appealing her disqualification from this year’s elections. Maria Palacios, a policy analyst for the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, filed a lawsuit Sunday to overturn Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s decision...
Georgia Primary: Early voting turnout recovers from slow start
 Early voting turnout for Georgia’s primary election almost reached the same level as two years ago, according to figures released Monday by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. A total of 320,443 voters cast ballots during the three-week advance voting period, compared to 329,043 in 2016. A total of 6.1 million active...

Posted: 15 hours ago

Early voting turnout for Georgia’s primary election almost reached the same level as two years ago, according to figures released Monday by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. A total of 320,443 voters cast ballots during the three-week advance voting period, compared to 329,043 in 2016. A total of 6.1 million active...
Georgia Election: Catch up on the races before voting Tuesday
 Still haven’t decided how to vote in Tuesday’s primaries? Here’s what you need to know before casting your ballot. The main event on Election Day is the race for Georgia governor. Voters will also decide on statewide offices, Congress, judges and local representatives. On the issues: Where the candidates for governor...

Posted: a day ago

Still haven’t decided how to vote in Tuesday’s primaries? Here’s what you need to know before casting your ballot. The main event on Election Day is the race for Georgia governor. Voters will also decide on statewide offices, Congress, judges and local representatives. On the issues: Where the candidates for governor...
Georgia GOP candidates battle over who’s strongest gun rights defender
 The five leading Republican candidates for Georgia governor tried to separate themselves from the field during a debate Thursday, making an appeal to conservative voters on gun rights and illegal immigration. With Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle leading in the polls, the rest of the candidates might be racing for second place in Tuesday’s...

Posted: 4 days ago

The five leading Republican candidates for Georgia governor tried to separate themselves from the field during a debate Thursday, making an appeal to conservative voters on gun rights and illegal immigration. With Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle leading in the polls, the rest of the candidates might be racing for second place in Tuesday’s...
Georgia fights hackers with nation’s largest cyber insurance policy
 When hackers took down the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s website and demanded a ransom, the state refused to pay. Instead, the government relied on its $100 million cyber insurance policy, which appears to be the largest of any state in the nation. A team of technicians and investigators erased and reloaded the 60 computers...

Posted: 4 days ago

When hackers took down the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s website and demanded a ransom, the state refused to pay. Instead, the government relied on its $100 million cyber insurance policy, which appears to be the largest of any state in the nation. A team of technicians and investigators erased and reloaded the 60 computers...
Many Georgia bills survive long road to become law
 Maybe it isn’t so hard for a bill to become a law in Georgia after all. More than one-third of all bills introduced since last year got through the Georgia General Assembly and were signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal, according to an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In all, state legislators proposed 1,573 bills...

Posted: 5 days ago

Maybe it isn’t so hard for a bill to become a law in Georgia after all. More than one-third of all bills introduced since last year got through the Georgia General Assembly and were signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal, according to an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In all, state legislators proposed 1,573 bills...
Here’s a look at key contests in Georgia primary
 Georgia holds a statewide primary election Tuesday with seats for Congress on down to the state Legislature up for grabs. Here are the biggest races to watch come Election Day, as well as how to pick a ballot, confirm your polling location and know when Georgia would hold runoffs in races where no candidate gets a majority: It’s a crowded...

Posted: 6 days ago

Georgia holds a statewide primary election Tuesday with seats for Congress on down to the state Legislature up for grabs. Here are the biggest races to watch come Election Day, as well as how to pick a ballot, confirm your polling location and know when Georgia would hold runoffs in races where no candidate gets a majority: It’s a crowded...
Here’s a look at key contests in Georgia primary
 By Mark Niesse and Maya T. Prabhu - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia holds a statewide primary election Tuesday with seats for Congress on down to the state Legislature up for grabs. Here are the biggest races to watch come Election Day, as well as how to pick a ballot, confirm your polling location and know when Georgia...

Posted: 6 days ago

By Mark Niesse and Maya T. Prabhu - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia holds a statewide primary election Tuesday with seats for Congress on down to the state Legislature up for grabs. Here are the biggest races to watch come Election Day, as well as how to pick a ballot, confirm your polling location and know when Georgia...
Stacey Abrams’ Democratic rival casts doubt on voter registration work
 Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Evans is raising doubts about a major voter registration effort founded by her primary election rival Stacey Abrams, whose rise to national prominence is fueled in part on the promise that she can reach new voters. Evans questioned Abrams’ assertion that she has helped register more than 200...

Posted: 6 days ago

Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Evans is raising doubts about a major voter registration effort founded by her primary election rival Stacey Abrams, whose rise to national prominence is fueled in part on the promise that she can reach new voters. Evans questioned Abrams’ assertion that she has helped register more than 200...
Early voting slow, but Democrats gaining on Republicans in Georgia
 Georgia Democrats are pinning their political hopes on a jolt of voter enthusiasm, and early-voting numbers indicate an uptick — if not quite a wave — of left-leaning voters casting ballots ahead of next week’s primary. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of the first two weeks of early-voting data shows an increase of...

Posted: 7 days ago

Georgia Democrats are pinning their political hopes on a jolt of voter enthusiasm, and early-voting numbers indicate an uptick — if not quite a wave — of left-leaning voters casting ballots ahead of next week’s primary. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of the first two weeks of early-voting data shows an increase of...
Prepaid phone fees will double in Georgia
 Fees on prepaid cellphones in Georgia are increasing from 75 cents to $1.50. The fee increase is included in a 911 funding bill signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal last week. The $1.50 fee on prepaid phones will be charged on each retail transaction, according to House Bill 751. Other wireless and landline phone customers already pay a $1...

Posted: 8 days ago

Fees on prepaid cellphones in Georgia are increasing from 75 cents to $1.50. The fee increase is included in a 911 funding bill signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal last week. The $1.50 fee on prepaid phones will be charged on each retail transaction, according to House Bill 751. Other wireless and landline phone customers already pay a $1...