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

Georgia election officials warn of ‘chaos’ if judge orders paper ballots
 The upcoming general election in Georgia will be “plunged into chaos” if a federal judge grants a request to immediately switch the state to paper ballots, according to attorneys for Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The court filing Tuesday came in response to a lawsuit that is trying to prevent Georgia from using its 27,000...

Posted: 14 hours ago

The upcoming general election in Georgia will be “plunged into chaos” if a federal judge grants a request to immediately switch the state to paper ballots, according to attorneys for Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The court filing Tuesday came in response to a lawsuit that is trying to prevent Georgia from using its 27,000...
Georgia Supreme Court rejects appeal from disqualified candidate
 The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously declined to consider an appeal from a former state House candidate who was disqualified because she only became a U.S. citizen last year. Maria Palacios, a Democrat, was removed from the ballot in May by Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp  because the Georgia Constitution requires...

Posted: a day ago

The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously declined to consider an appeal from a former state House candidate who was disqualified because she only became a U.S. citizen last year. Maria Palacios, a Democrat, was removed from the ballot in May by Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp because the Georgia Constitution requires...
Without legal way to buy medical marijuana, Georgians turn to CBD
 It’s against the law to buy medical marijuana in Georgia, but you don’t have to drive far to find a similar product for sale in stores. Stacked in smoke shops and nutrition stores, customers can buy cannabidiol droplets, capsules or creams to treat minor aches and pains. Meanwhile, there’s no way for patients suffering from...

Posted: a day ago

It’s against the law to buy medical marijuana in Georgia, but you don’t have to drive far to find a similar product for sale in stores. Stacked in smoke shops and nutrition stores, customers can buy cannabidiol droplets, capsules or creams to treat minor aches and pains. Meanwhile, there’s no way for patients suffering from...
Georgia AG Carr fights drugmaker’s attempt to stop Nevada execution
 Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is opposing a drug company’s effort to prevent its products from being used in executions. Carr is one of 15 state attorneys general who submitted a brief last week in a Nevada death penalty lawsuit. The drug company, Alvogen, sued to prevent the state of Nevada from using its sedative midazolam in...

Posted: 3 days ago

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is opposing a drug company’s effort to prevent its products from being used in executions. Carr is one of 15 state attorneys general who submitted a brief last week in a Nevada death penalty lawsuit. The drug company, Alvogen, sued to prevent the state of Nevada from using its sedative midazolam in...
Election officials correct error that gave Doraville voters wrong ballots
 Election officials are mailing new precinct cards to 864 Doraville voters, an acknowledgement that they’ve been assigned to the wrong state House district for years. Those voters in the Doraville North precinct live in state Rep. Scott Holcomb’s District 81 but cast ballots in state Rep. Tom Taylor’s district....

Posted: 6 days ago

Election officials are mailing new precinct cards to 864 Doraville voters, an acknowledgement that they’ve been assigned to the wrong state House district for years. Those voters in the Doraville North precinct live in state Rep. Scott Holcomb’s District 81 but cast ballots in state Rep. Tom Taylor’s district....
Georgia solicits companies to replace electronic voting machines
 Voting machine companies will submit proposals this month to replace Georgia’s touchscreens with hand-marked paper ballots or ballot-marking devices. The Secretary of State’s Office posted a request for information Wednesday to review companies’ voting systems and their costs, which could range from roughly $30...

Posted: 7 days ago

Voting machine companies will submit proposals this month to replace Georgia’s touchscreens with hand-marked paper ballots or ballot-marking devices. The Secretary of State’s Office posted a request for information Wednesday to review companies’ voting systems and their costs, which could range from roughly $30...
Federal judge: Is it realistic to force Georgia to use paper ballots?
 A federal judge is considering whether to switch Georgia from electronic to paper ballots before November’s election. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote in an order Tuesday that she’ll evaluate the “practical realities” of changing the state to paper ballots less than three months before the election...

Posted: 8 days ago

A federal judge is considering whether to switch Georgia from electronic to paper ballots before November’s election. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote in an order Tuesday that she’ll evaluate the “practical realities” of changing the state to paper ballots less than three months before the election...
Kemp defends Georgia’s ‘exact match’ voter registration law
 Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is rejecting a lawsuit threat from a civil rights organization over the state’s “exact match” method for verifying voter registration applications. The threatened lawsuit would allege that the “exact match” system has a high error rate and a negative impact on African-American...

Posted: 10 days ago

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is rejecting a lawsuit threat from a civil rights organization over the state’s “exact match” method for verifying voter registration applications. The threatened lawsuit would allege that the “exact match” system has a high error rate and a negative impact on African-American...
Georgia might allow medical marijuana growing and dispensing
 Patients in Georgia are allowed to consume medical marijuana — if they can find a way to get it. It’s still illegal to buy or transport cannabis oil in Georgia, even though the state authorized registered patients to use it three years ago. That could soon change. Georgia legislators are holding the first in a series of public...

Posted: 13 days ago

Patients in Georgia are allowed to consume medical marijuana — if they can find a way to get it. It’s still illegal to buy or transport cannabis oil in Georgia, even though the state authorized registered patients to use it three years ago. That could soon change. Georgia legislators are holding the first in a series of public...
Democrats compete in twice as many Georgia legislative seats this year
 At the heart of Georgia Democrats’ strategy to win  seats in the state Legislature is a plan to compete in more races. They’ve accomplished that goal already by fielding many more candidates this year. Whether it results in victories in November’s general election remains to be seen. There are a total of 91 legislative districts...

Posted: 13 days ago

At the heart of Georgia Democrats’ strategy to win seats in the state Legislature is a plan to compete in more races. They’ve accomplished that goal already by fielding many more candidates this year. Whether it results in victories in November’s general election remains to be seen. There are a total of 91 legislative districts...
Shafer concedes Georgia GOP runoff for lieutenant governor
 State Sen. David Shafer is conceding the Republican race for lieutenant governor to Geoff Duncan. Shafer wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to seek a recount, and he wants Republicans to unify around their nominees for the Nov. 6 general election. Shafer trailed Duncan by less than 1 percentage point ...

Posted: 14 days ago

State Sen. David Shafer is conceding the Republican race for lieutenant governor to Geoff Duncan. Shafer wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to seek a recount, and he wants Republicans to unify around their nominees for the Nov. 6 general election. Shafer trailed Duncan by less than 1 percentage point ...





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

Georgia election officials warn of ‘chaos’ if judge orders paper ballots
 The upcoming general election in Georgia will be “plunged into chaos” if a federal judge grants a request to immediately switch the state to paper ballots, according to attorneys for Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The court filing Tuesday came in response to a lawsuit that is trying to prevent Georgia from using its 27,000...

Posted: 14 hours ago

The upcoming general election in Georgia will be “plunged into chaos” if a federal judge grants a request to immediately switch the state to paper ballots, according to attorneys for Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The court filing Tuesday came in response to a lawsuit that is trying to prevent Georgia from using its 27,000...
Georgia Supreme Court rejects appeal from disqualified candidate
 The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously declined to consider an appeal from a former state House candidate who was disqualified because she only became a U.S. citizen last year. Maria Palacios, a Democrat, was removed from the ballot in May by Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp  because the Georgia Constitution requires...

Posted: a day ago

The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously declined to consider an appeal from a former state House candidate who was disqualified because she only became a U.S. citizen last year. Maria Palacios, a Democrat, was removed from the ballot in May by Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp because the Georgia Constitution requires...
Without legal way to buy medical marijuana, Georgians turn to CBD
 It’s against the law to buy medical marijuana in Georgia, but you don’t have to drive far to find a similar product for sale in stores. Stacked in smoke shops and nutrition stores, customers can buy cannabidiol droplets, capsules or creams to treat minor aches and pains. Meanwhile, there’s no way for patients suffering from...

Posted: a day ago

It’s against the law to buy medical marijuana in Georgia, but you don’t have to drive far to find a similar product for sale in stores. Stacked in smoke shops and nutrition stores, customers can buy cannabidiol droplets, capsules or creams to treat minor aches and pains. Meanwhile, there’s no way for patients suffering from...
Georgia AG Carr fights drugmaker’s attempt to stop Nevada execution
 Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is opposing a drug company’s effort to prevent its products from being used in executions. Carr is one of 15 state attorneys general who submitted a brief last week in a Nevada death penalty lawsuit. The drug company, Alvogen, sued to prevent the state of Nevada from using its sedative midazolam in...

Posted: 3 days ago

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is opposing a drug company’s effort to prevent its products from being used in executions. Carr is one of 15 state attorneys general who submitted a brief last week in a Nevada death penalty lawsuit. The drug company, Alvogen, sued to prevent the state of Nevada from using its sedative midazolam in...
Election officials correct error that gave Doraville voters wrong ballots
 Election officials are mailing new precinct cards to 864 Doraville voters, an acknowledgement that they’ve been assigned to the wrong state House district for years. Those voters in the Doraville North precinct live in state Rep. Scott Holcomb’s District 81 but cast ballots in state Rep. Tom Taylor’s district....

Posted: 6 days ago

Election officials are mailing new precinct cards to 864 Doraville voters, an acknowledgement that they’ve been assigned to the wrong state House district for years. Those voters in the Doraville North precinct live in state Rep. Scott Holcomb’s District 81 but cast ballots in state Rep. Tom Taylor’s district....
Georgia solicits companies to replace electronic voting machines
 Voting machine companies will submit proposals this month to replace Georgia’s touchscreens with hand-marked paper ballots or ballot-marking devices. The Secretary of State’s Office posted a request for information Wednesday to review companies’ voting systems and their costs, which could range from roughly $30...

Posted: 7 days ago

Voting machine companies will submit proposals this month to replace Georgia’s touchscreens with hand-marked paper ballots or ballot-marking devices. The Secretary of State’s Office posted a request for information Wednesday to review companies’ voting systems and their costs, which could range from roughly $30...
Federal judge: Is it realistic to force Georgia to use paper ballots?
 A federal judge is considering whether to switch Georgia from electronic to paper ballots before November’s election. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote in an order Tuesday that she’ll evaluate the “practical realities” of changing the state to paper ballots less than three months before the election...

Posted: 8 days ago

A federal judge is considering whether to switch Georgia from electronic to paper ballots before November’s election. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote in an order Tuesday that she’ll evaluate the “practical realities” of changing the state to paper ballots less than three months before the election...
Kemp defends Georgia’s ‘exact match’ voter registration law
 Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is rejecting a lawsuit threat from a civil rights organization over the state’s “exact match” method for verifying voter registration applications. The threatened lawsuit would allege that the “exact match” system has a high error rate and a negative impact on African-American...

Posted: 10 days ago

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is rejecting a lawsuit threat from a civil rights organization over the state’s “exact match” method for verifying voter registration applications. The threatened lawsuit would allege that the “exact match” system has a high error rate and a negative impact on African-American...
Georgia might allow medical marijuana growing and dispensing
 Patients in Georgia are allowed to consume medical marijuana — if they can find a way to get it. It’s still illegal to buy or transport cannabis oil in Georgia, even though the state authorized registered patients to use it three years ago. That could soon change. Georgia legislators are holding the first in a series of public...

Posted: 13 days ago

Patients in Georgia are allowed to consume medical marijuana — if they can find a way to get it. It’s still illegal to buy or transport cannabis oil in Georgia, even though the state authorized registered patients to use it three years ago. That could soon change. Georgia legislators are holding the first in a series of public...
Democrats compete in twice as many Georgia legislative seats this year
 At the heart of Georgia Democrats’ strategy to win  seats in the state Legislature is a plan to compete in more races. They’ve accomplished that goal already by fielding many more candidates this year. Whether it results in victories in November’s general election remains to be seen. There are a total of 91 legislative districts...

Posted: 13 days ago

At the heart of Georgia Democrats’ strategy to win seats in the state Legislature is a plan to compete in more races. They’ve accomplished that goal already by fielding many more candidates this year. Whether it results in victories in November’s general election remains to be seen. There are a total of 91 legislative districts...
Shafer concedes Georgia GOP runoff for lieutenant governor
 State Sen. David Shafer is conceding the Republican race for lieutenant governor to Geoff Duncan. Shafer wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to seek a recount, and he wants Republicans to unify around their nominees for the Nov. 6 general election. Shafer trailed Duncan by less than 1 percentage point ...

Posted: 14 days ago

State Sen. David Shafer is conceding the Republican race for lieutenant governor to Geoff Duncan. Shafer wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to seek a recount, and he wants Republicans to unify around their nominees for the Nov. 6 general election. Shafer trailed Duncan by less than 1 percentage point ...





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

Georgia election officials warn of ‘chaos’ if judge orders paper ballots
 The upcoming general election in Georgia will be “plunged into chaos” if a federal judge grants a request to immediately switch the state to paper ballots, according to attorneys for Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The court filing Tuesday came in response to a lawsuit that is trying to prevent Georgia from using its 27,000...

Posted: 14 hours ago

The upcoming general election in Georgia will be “plunged into chaos” if a federal judge grants a request to immediately switch the state to paper ballots, according to attorneys for Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The court filing Tuesday came in response to a lawsuit that is trying to prevent Georgia from using its 27,000...
Georgia Supreme Court rejects appeal from disqualified candidate
 The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously declined to consider an appeal from a former state House candidate who was disqualified because she only became a U.S. citizen last year. Maria Palacios, a Democrat, was removed from the ballot in May by Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp  because the Georgia Constitution requires...

Posted: a day ago

The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously declined to consider an appeal from a former state House candidate who was disqualified because she only became a U.S. citizen last year. Maria Palacios, a Democrat, was removed from the ballot in May by Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp because the Georgia Constitution requires...
Without legal way to buy medical marijuana, Georgians turn to CBD
 It’s against the law to buy medical marijuana in Georgia, but you don’t have to drive far to find a similar product for sale in stores. Stacked in smoke shops and nutrition stores, customers can buy cannabidiol droplets, capsules or creams to treat minor aches and pains. Meanwhile, there’s no way for patients suffering from...

Posted: a day ago

It’s against the law to buy medical marijuana in Georgia, but you don’t have to drive far to find a similar product for sale in stores. Stacked in smoke shops and nutrition stores, customers can buy cannabidiol droplets, capsules or creams to treat minor aches and pains. Meanwhile, there’s no way for patients suffering from...
Georgia AG Carr fights drugmaker’s attempt to stop Nevada execution
 Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is opposing a drug company’s effort to prevent its products from being used in executions. Carr is one of 15 state attorneys general who submitted a brief last week in a Nevada death penalty lawsuit. The drug company, Alvogen, sued to prevent the state of Nevada from using its sedative midazolam in...

Posted: 3 days ago

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is opposing a drug company’s effort to prevent its products from being used in executions. Carr is one of 15 state attorneys general who submitted a brief last week in a Nevada death penalty lawsuit. The drug company, Alvogen, sued to prevent the state of Nevada from using its sedative midazolam in...
Election officials correct error that gave Doraville voters wrong ballots
 Election officials are mailing new precinct cards to 864 Doraville voters, an acknowledgement that they’ve been assigned to the wrong state House district for years. Those voters in the Doraville North precinct live in state Rep. Scott Holcomb’s District 81 but cast ballots in state Rep. Tom Taylor’s district....

Posted: 6 days ago

Election officials are mailing new precinct cards to 864 Doraville voters, an acknowledgement that they’ve been assigned to the wrong state House district for years. Those voters in the Doraville North precinct live in state Rep. Scott Holcomb’s District 81 but cast ballots in state Rep. Tom Taylor’s district....
Georgia solicits companies to replace electronic voting machines
 Voting machine companies will submit proposals this month to replace Georgia’s touchscreens with hand-marked paper ballots or ballot-marking devices. The Secretary of State’s Office posted a request for information Wednesday to review companies’ voting systems and their costs, which could range from roughly $30...

Posted: 7 days ago

Voting machine companies will submit proposals this month to replace Georgia’s touchscreens with hand-marked paper ballots or ballot-marking devices. The Secretary of State’s Office posted a request for information Wednesday to review companies’ voting systems and their costs, which could range from roughly $30...
Federal judge: Is it realistic to force Georgia to use paper ballots?
 A federal judge is considering whether to switch Georgia from electronic to paper ballots before November’s election. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote in an order Tuesday that she’ll evaluate the “practical realities” of changing the state to paper ballots less than three months before the election...

Posted: 8 days ago

A federal judge is considering whether to switch Georgia from electronic to paper ballots before November’s election. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote in an order Tuesday that she’ll evaluate the “practical realities” of changing the state to paper ballots less than three months before the election...
Kemp defends Georgia’s ‘exact match’ voter registration law
 Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is rejecting a lawsuit threat from a civil rights organization over the state’s “exact match” method for verifying voter registration applications. The threatened lawsuit would allege that the “exact match” system has a high error rate and a negative impact on African-American...

Posted: 10 days ago

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is rejecting a lawsuit threat from a civil rights organization over the state’s “exact match” method for verifying voter registration applications. The threatened lawsuit would allege that the “exact match” system has a high error rate and a negative impact on African-American...
Georgia might allow medical marijuana growing and dispensing
 Patients in Georgia are allowed to consume medical marijuana — if they can find a way to get it. It’s still illegal to buy or transport cannabis oil in Georgia, even though the state authorized registered patients to use it three years ago. That could soon change. Georgia legislators are holding the first in a series of public...

Posted: 13 days ago

Patients in Georgia are allowed to consume medical marijuana — if they can find a way to get it. It’s still illegal to buy or transport cannabis oil in Georgia, even though the state authorized registered patients to use it three years ago. That could soon change. Georgia legislators are holding the first in a series of public...
Democrats compete in twice as many Georgia legislative seats this year
 At the heart of Georgia Democrats’ strategy to win  seats in the state Legislature is a plan to compete in more races. They’ve accomplished that goal already by fielding many more candidates this year. Whether it results in victories in November’s general election remains to be seen. There are a total of 91 legislative districts...

Posted: 13 days ago

At the heart of Georgia Democrats’ strategy to win seats in the state Legislature is a plan to compete in more races. They’ve accomplished that goal already by fielding many more candidates this year. Whether it results in victories in November’s general election remains to be seen. There are a total of 91 legislative districts...
Shafer concedes Georgia GOP runoff for lieutenant governor
 State Sen. David Shafer is conceding the Republican race for lieutenant governor to Geoff Duncan. Shafer wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to seek a recount, and he wants Republicans to unify around their nominees for the Nov. 6 general election. Shafer trailed Duncan by less than 1 percentage point ...

Posted: 14 days ago

State Sen. David Shafer is conceding the Republican race for lieutenant governor to Geoff Duncan. Shafer wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to seek a recount, and he wants Republicans to unify around their nominees for the Nov. 6 general election. Shafer trailed Duncan by less than 1 percentage point ...