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

Bill to buy new Georgia voting machines clears committees
 A bill to switch Georgia’s voting system to computer-printed paper ballots hurtled through the state House on Thursday, clearing its first committees after state legislators listened to two days of intense public comments. The House Governmental Affairs Committee voted 13-6 to pass the bill, which would replace Georgia&rsquo...

Posted: 11 hours ago

A bill to switch Georgia’s voting system to computer-printed paper ballots hurtled through the state House on Thursday, clearing its first committees after state legislators listened to two days of intense public comments. The House Governmental Affairs Committee voted 13-6 to pass the bill, which would replace Georgia&rsquo...
Voters, Abrams and U.S. Congress members demand accountable elections
 Voting rights took center stage in Atlanta on Tuesday, when U.S. House Democrats and Stacey Abrams called for stronger voter protections while Georgia legislators pushed a proposal to buy new voting machines that critics said are inherently insecure. The separate events at the Carter Center and the Capitol delved into problems that clouded...

Posted: 2 days ago

Voting rights took center stage in Atlanta on Tuesday, when U.S. House Democrats and Stacey Abrams called for stronger voter protections while Georgia legislators pushed a proposal to buy new voting machines that critics said are inherently insecure. The separate events at the Carter Center and the Capitol delved into problems that clouded...
Voters confront Georgia lawmakers over new touchscreen election system
 Impassioned voters packed a hearing Tuesday to oppose a bill replacing Georgia’s electronic voting machines, with many of them telling lawmakers that the state’s proposed new voting system is no more secure. State legislators listened to three hours of testimony during the first hearing on a bill to buy touchscreen machines...

Posted: 2 days ago

Impassioned voters packed a hearing Tuesday to oppose a bill replacing Georgia’s electronic voting machines, with many of them telling lawmakers that the state’s proposed new voting system is no more secure. State legislators listened to three hours of testimony during the first hearing on a bill to buy touchscreen machines...
Should nonviolent Georgia felons be allowed to vote?
 A resolution introduced in the Georgia Senate calls for some nonviolent felons to get their voting rights back. The proposal comes after voters approved a similar measure in Florida in November, automatically restoring the voting rights of about 1.5 million felons as long as they weren’t convicted of sex offenses or murder.  In...

Posted: 3 days ago

A resolution introduced in the Georgia Senate calls for some nonviolent felons to get their voting rights back. The proposal comes after voters approved a similar measure in Florida in November, automatically restoring the voting rights of about 1.5 million felons as long as they weren’t convicted of sex offenses or murder.  In...
Georgia again stakes its claim to land at Tennessee border 
 Georgia is re-starting a 201-year dispute with Tennessee and North Carolina over its northern border and the Tennessee River. The Georgia House voted 163-4 last week to pursue negotiations to establish the state’s “true boundary lines,” according to House Resolution 51. The border was mapped incorrectly in 1818...

Posted: 3 days ago

Georgia is re-starting a 201-year dispute with Tennessee and North Carolina over its northern border and the Tennessee River. The Georgia House voted 163-4 last week to pursue negotiations to establish the state’s “true boundary lines,” according to House Resolution 51. The border was mapped incorrectly in 1818...
Georgia could join effort to cancel more out-of-state voter registrations
 Georgia might begin participating in a 25-state effort to cancel voter registrations of voters who move away or die. The state could enroll in the Electronic Registration Information Center, according to House Bill 316, a broad elections bill introduced last week that also calls for Georgia to replace its electronic ...

Posted: 3 days ago

Georgia might begin participating in a 25-state effort to cancel voter registrations of voters who move away or die. The state could enroll in the Electronic Registration Information Center, according to House Bill 316, a broad elections bill introduced last week that also calls for Georgia to replace its electronic ...
Georgia election bill would give voters more time before being purged
 A new bill to overhaul Georgia’s elections would alert voters and give them more time before their registrations are canceled, proposals that could curtail large-scale removals of voters from the rolls. The Republican-sponsored legislation would preserve regular registration cancellations when voters are inactive for several years...

Posted: 6 days ago

A new bill to overhaul Georgia’s elections would alert voters and give them more time before their registrations are canceled, proposals that could curtail large-scale removals of voters from the rolls. The Republican-sponsored legislation would preserve regular registration cancellations when voters are inactive for several years...
Bill to replace Georgia voting machines introduced
 A broad elections bill introduced Thursday would replace Georgia’s electronic voting system with touchscreens that print ballots before they’re counted. The printed ballots would create a paper trail to check the accuracy of election results. Georgia’s current direct-recording electronic voting machines lack a...

Posted: 7 days ago

A broad elections bill introduced Thursday would replace Georgia’s electronic voting system with touchscreens that print ballots before they’re counted. The printed ballots would create a paper trail to check the accuracy of election results. Georgia’s current direct-recording electronic voting machines lack a...
Georgia bill seeks in-state cultivation, sale of medical marijuana
 Legislation filed Thursday would allow medical marijuana oil to be sold to patients in Georgia. The proposal calls for medical marijuana dispensaries to serve the state’s rising number of registered patients — more than 8,400 so far. The drug would be legally grown, manufactured, tested, tracked and distributed for the first...

Posted: 7 days ago

Legislation filed Thursday would allow medical marijuana oil to be sold to patients in Georgia. The proposal calls for medical marijuana dispensaries to serve the state’s rising number of registered patients — more than 8,400 so far. The drug would be legally grown, manufactured, tested, tracked and distributed for the first...
2 Republicans advance to runoff for South Georgia House seat
 Two Republican candidates will face off in a runoff election next month for a South Georgia seat in the state House of Representatives. None of the four candidates in the race won a majority in Tuesday’s special election for House District 176. The seat became open when former Gov. Nathan Deal appointed state Rep. Jason Shaw to the...

Posted: 8 days ago

Two Republican candidates will face off in a runoff election next month for a South Georgia seat in the state House of Representatives. None of the four candidates in the race won a majority in Tuesday’s special election for House District 176. The seat became open when former Gov. Nathan Deal appointed state Rep. Jason Shaw to the...
Georgia bill aims to open elections to more third-party candidates
 A bill introduced in the Georgia House would make it easier for independent and third-party candidates to appear on the ballot. The measure, House Bill 191, would reduce the number of signatures required for candidates to seek office. Georgia has some of the most restrictive ballot-access laws in the country. Currently, candidates...

Posted: 8 days ago

A bill introduced in the Georgia House would make it easier for independent and third-party candidates to appear on the ballot. The measure, House Bill 191, would reduce the number of signatures required for candidates to seek office. Georgia has some of the most restrictive ballot-access laws in the country. Currently, candidates...