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

Californians bring anti-gerrymandering message to Georgia
 Voters in Georgia would benefit from a more accountable and democratic government if they’re given the power to draw the state’s electoral maps, according to members of California’s independent redistricting board who are visiting Georgia this weekend. They’re bringing a message that government should be run by the...

Posted: 31 minutes ago

Voters in Georgia would benefit from a more accountable and democratic government if they’re given the power to draw the state’s electoral maps, according to members of California’s independent redistricting board who are visiting Georgia this weekend. They’re bringing a message that government should be run by the...
Candidate for Georgia secretary of state retracts inaccurate claim
 A Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, David Belle Isle, quietly corrected his campaign website this week to remove false claims that he was a descendant of a prominent Atlanta businessman who started taxicab companies in the early 20th century. Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta, had refused to change his website until...

Posted: 2 days ago

A Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, David Belle Isle, quietly corrected his campaign website this week to remove false claims that he was a descendant of a prominent Atlanta businessman who started taxicab companies in the early 20th century. Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta, had refused to change his website until...
Georgia gerrymandering cases unresolved after Supreme Court ruling
 The U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide Monday whether it’s constitutional for states to create electoral maps that give an advantage to one political party over another, preserving district boundaries in Georgia and across the nation. The court’s decision leaves in place partisan gerrymandering — the practice of state...

Posted: 3 days ago

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide Monday whether it’s constitutional for states to create electoral maps that give an advantage to one political party over another, preserving district boundaries in Georgia and across the nation. The court’s decision leaves in place partisan gerrymandering — the practice of state...
Lawsuit says Georgia congressional maps dilute black voting power
 Georgia is one of three Southern states where a national Democratic group has filed federal lawsuits alleging congressional districts were drawn to limit the political power of black voters. The lawsuit challenges maps approved by the Republican-led Georgia General Assembly in 2011, saying state lawmakers gerrymandered the state’s 14...

Posted: 6 days ago

Georgia is one of three Southern states where a national Democratic group has filed federal lawsuits alleging congressional districts were drawn to limit the political power of black voters. The lawsuit challenges maps approved by the Republican-led Georgia General Assembly in 2011, saying state lawmakers gerrymandered the state’s 14...
Work begins to replace Georgia’s digital voting system
 An effort to trash Georgia’s electronic voting machines got underway Wednesday amid disagreements over how to make the state’s elections secure and accurate. The first meeting of a group that will recommend a replacement voting system showed divides over whether Georgia should use pen-and-paper ballots or touchscreen machines...

Posted: 8 days ago

An effort to trash Georgia’s electronic voting machines got underway Wednesday amid disagreements over how to make the state’s elections secure and accurate. The first meeting of a group that will recommend a replacement voting system showed divides over whether Georgia should use pen-and-paper ballots or touchscreen machines...
Emails show unified opposition to Georgia hacking bill before veto
 Before Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed an anti-hacking bill, he heard about nationwide opposition from tech experts who feared it would make the internet less safe. Everyone who contacted the governor’s office said the bill to outlaw computer snooping shouldn’t become law, according to 65 pages of emails obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...

Posted: 8 days ago

Before Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed an anti-hacking bill, he heard about nationwide opposition from tech experts who feared it would make the internet less safe. Everyone who contacted the governor’s office said the bill to outlaw computer snooping shouldn’t become law, according to 65 pages of emails obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...
Defeated Georgia legislator alleges voters were given wrong ballots
 A member of the Georgia House who was defeated in last month’s primary is seeking a new election because dozens of voters allegedly received the wrong ballot. State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that at least 67 votes — the margin of his defeat in the Republican primary — were cast on ballots...

Posted: 10 days ago

A member of the Georgia House who was defeated in last month’s primary is seeking a new election because dozens of voters allegedly received the wrong ballot. State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that at least 67 votes — the margin of his defeat in the Republican primary — were cast on ballots...
Supreme Court allows voter purges in states like Georgia
 Georgia and other states can target people who haven’t cast ballots in a while in efforts to purge their voting rolls, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in an Ohio case that has drawn wide attention amid stark partisan divisions and the approach of the 2018 elections. By a 5-4 vote that split the conservative and liberal justices...

Posted: 10 days ago

Georgia and other states can target people who haven’t cast ballots in a while in efforts to purge their voting rolls, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in an Ohio case that has drawn wide attention amid stark partisan divisions and the approach of the 2018 elections. By a 5-4 vote that split the conservative and liberal justices...
U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gerrymandering could impact Georgia
 An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering could affect Georgia districts that were redrawn to benefit Republican state legislators. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether it’s unconstitutional to change district borders to benefit one political party over another. That’s what...

Posted: 12 days ago

An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering could affect Georgia districts that were redrawn to benefit Republican state legislators. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether it’s unconstitutional to change district borders to benefit one political party over another. That’s what...
Court finds ‘compelling’ evidence of race-based redistricting in Ga.
 A federal court found “compelling” evidence that Georgia lawmakers redistricted black voters to preserve Republican power at the state Capitol, according to a recent ruling. But the three-judge panel denied a request for a preliminary injunction to halt upcoming elections in the affected districts in Gwinnett and Henry counties...

Posted: 13 days ago

A federal court found “compelling” evidence that Georgia lawmakers redistricted black voters to preserve Republican power at the state Capitol, according to a recent ruling. But the three-judge panel denied a request for a preliminary injunction to halt upcoming elections in the affected districts in Gwinnett and Henry counties...
Opposition to Georgia Republican legislative agenda comes from within
 The biggest naysayers in the Georgia General Assembly aren’t Democrats. Instead, they’re die-hard conservatives within the state’s Republican majority. Seven of the 10 legislators who vote “no” most often are Republicans, according to an analysis of voting records over the past two years by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...

Posted: 14 days ago

The biggest naysayers in the Georgia General Assembly aren’t Democrats. Instead, they’re die-hard conservatives within the state’s Republican majority. Seven of the 10 legislators who vote “no” most often are Republicans, according to an analysis of voting records over the past two years by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...





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

Californians bring anti-gerrymandering message to Georgia
 Voters in Georgia would benefit from a more accountable and democratic government if they’re given the power to draw the state’s electoral maps, according to members of California’s independent redistricting board who are visiting Georgia this weekend. They’re bringing a message that government should be run by the...

Posted: 31 minutes ago

Voters in Georgia would benefit from a more accountable and democratic government if they’re given the power to draw the state’s electoral maps, according to members of California’s independent redistricting board who are visiting Georgia this weekend. They’re bringing a message that government should be run by the...
Candidate for Georgia secretary of state retracts inaccurate claim
 A Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, David Belle Isle, quietly corrected his campaign website this week to remove false claims that he was a descendant of a prominent Atlanta businessman who started taxicab companies in the early 20th century. Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta, had refused to change his website until...

Posted: 2 days ago

A Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, David Belle Isle, quietly corrected his campaign website this week to remove false claims that he was a descendant of a prominent Atlanta businessman who started taxicab companies in the early 20th century. Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta, had refused to change his website until...
Georgia gerrymandering cases unresolved after Supreme Court ruling
 The U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide Monday whether it’s constitutional for states to create electoral maps that give an advantage to one political party over another, preserving district boundaries in Georgia and across the nation. The court’s decision leaves in place partisan gerrymandering — the practice of state...

Posted: 3 days ago

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide Monday whether it’s constitutional for states to create electoral maps that give an advantage to one political party over another, preserving district boundaries in Georgia and across the nation. The court’s decision leaves in place partisan gerrymandering — the practice of state...
Lawsuit says Georgia congressional maps dilute black voting power
 Georgia is one of three Southern states where a national Democratic group has filed federal lawsuits alleging congressional districts were drawn to limit the political power of black voters. The lawsuit challenges maps approved by the Republican-led Georgia General Assembly in 2011, saying state lawmakers gerrymandered the state’s 14...

Posted: 6 days ago

Georgia is one of three Southern states where a national Democratic group has filed federal lawsuits alleging congressional districts were drawn to limit the political power of black voters. The lawsuit challenges maps approved by the Republican-led Georgia General Assembly in 2011, saying state lawmakers gerrymandered the state’s 14...
Work begins to replace Georgia’s digital voting system
 An effort to trash Georgia’s electronic voting machines got underway Wednesday amid disagreements over how to make the state’s elections secure and accurate. The first meeting of a group that will recommend a replacement voting system showed divides over whether Georgia should use pen-and-paper ballots or touchscreen machines...

Posted: 8 days ago

An effort to trash Georgia’s electronic voting machines got underway Wednesday amid disagreements over how to make the state’s elections secure and accurate. The first meeting of a group that will recommend a replacement voting system showed divides over whether Georgia should use pen-and-paper ballots or touchscreen machines...
Emails show unified opposition to Georgia hacking bill before veto
 Before Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed an anti-hacking bill, he heard about nationwide opposition from tech experts who feared it would make the internet less safe. Everyone who contacted the governor’s office said the bill to outlaw computer snooping shouldn’t become law, according to 65 pages of emails obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...

Posted: 8 days ago

Before Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed an anti-hacking bill, he heard about nationwide opposition from tech experts who feared it would make the internet less safe. Everyone who contacted the governor’s office said the bill to outlaw computer snooping shouldn’t become law, according to 65 pages of emails obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...
Defeated Georgia legislator alleges voters were given wrong ballots
 A member of the Georgia House who was defeated in last month’s primary is seeking a new election because dozens of voters allegedly received the wrong ballot. State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that at least 67 votes — the margin of his defeat in the Republican primary — were cast on ballots...

Posted: 10 days ago

A member of the Georgia House who was defeated in last month’s primary is seeking a new election because dozens of voters allegedly received the wrong ballot. State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that at least 67 votes — the margin of his defeat in the Republican primary — were cast on ballots...
Supreme Court allows voter purges in states like Georgia
 Georgia and other states can target people who haven’t cast ballots in a while in efforts to purge their voting rolls, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in an Ohio case that has drawn wide attention amid stark partisan divisions and the approach of the 2018 elections. By a 5-4 vote that split the conservative and liberal justices...

Posted: 10 days ago

Georgia and other states can target people who haven’t cast ballots in a while in efforts to purge their voting rolls, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in an Ohio case that has drawn wide attention amid stark partisan divisions and the approach of the 2018 elections. By a 5-4 vote that split the conservative and liberal justices...
U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gerrymandering could impact Georgia
 An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering could affect Georgia districts that were redrawn to benefit Republican state legislators. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether it’s unconstitutional to change district borders to benefit one political party over another. That’s what...

Posted: 12 days ago

An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering could affect Georgia districts that were redrawn to benefit Republican state legislators. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether it’s unconstitutional to change district borders to benefit one political party over another. That’s what...
Court finds ‘compelling’ evidence of race-based redistricting in Ga.
 A federal court found “compelling” evidence that Georgia lawmakers redistricted black voters to preserve Republican power at the state Capitol, according to a recent ruling. But the three-judge panel denied a request for a preliminary injunction to halt upcoming elections in the affected districts in Gwinnett and Henry counties...

Posted: 13 days ago

A federal court found “compelling” evidence that Georgia lawmakers redistricted black voters to preserve Republican power at the state Capitol, according to a recent ruling. But the three-judge panel denied a request for a preliminary injunction to halt upcoming elections in the affected districts in Gwinnett and Henry counties...
Opposition to Georgia Republican legislative agenda comes from within
 The biggest naysayers in the Georgia General Assembly aren’t Democrats. Instead, they’re die-hard conservatives within the state’s Republican majority. Seven of the 10 legislators who vote “no” most often are Republicans, according to an analysis of voting records over the past two years by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...

Posted: 14 days ago

The biggest naysayers in the Georgia General Assembly aren’t Democrats. Instead, they’re die-hard conservatives within the state’s Republican majority. Seven of the 10 legislators who vote “no” most often are Republicans, according to an analysis of voting records over the past two years by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...





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

Californians bring anti-gerrymandering message to Georgia
 Voters in Georgia would benefit from a more accountable and democratic government if they’re given the power to draw the state’s electoral maps, according to members of California’s independent redistricting board who are visiting Georgia this weekend. They’re bringing a message that government should be run by the...

Posted: 31 minutes ago

Voters in Georgia would benefit from a more accountable and democratic government if they’re given the power to draw the state’s electoral maps, according to members of California’s independent redistricting board who are visiting Georgia this weekend. They’re bringing a message that government should be run by the...
Candidate for Georgia secretary of state retracts inaccurate claim
 A Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, David Belle Isle, quietly corrected his campaign website this week to remove false claims that he was a descendant of a prominent Atlanta businessman who started taxicab companies in the early 20th century. Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta, had refused to change his website until...

Posted: 2 days ago

A Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, David Belle Isle, quietly corrected his campaign website this week to remove false claims that he was a descendant of a prominent Atlanta businessman who started taxicab companies in the early 20th century. Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta, had refused to change his website until...
Georgia gerrymandering cases unresolved after Supreme Court ruling
 The U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide Monday whether it’s constitutional for states to create electoral maps that give an advantage to one political party over another, preserving district boundaries in Georgia and across the nation. The court’s decision leaves in place partisan gerrymandering — the practice of state...

Posted: 3 days ago

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide Monday whether it’s constitutional for states to create electoral maps that give an advantage to one political party over another, preserving district boundaries in Georgia and across the nation. The court’s decision leaves in place partisan gerrymandering — the practice of state...
Lawsuit says Georgia congressional maps dilute black voting power
 Georgia is one of three Southern states where a national Democratic group has filed federal lawsuits alleging congressional districts were drawn to limit the political power of black voters. The lawsuit challenges maps approved by the Republican-led Georgia General Assembly in 2011, saying state lawmakers gerrymandered the state’s 14...

Posted: 6 days ago

Georgia is one of three Southern states where a national Democratic group has filed federal lawsuits alleging congressional districts were drawn to limit the political power of black voters. The lawsuit challenges maps approved by the Republican-led Georgia General Assembly in 2011, saying state lawmakers gerrymandered the state’s 14...
Work begins to replace Georgia’s digital voting system
 An effort to trash Georgia’s electronic voting machines got underway Wednesday amid disagreements over how to make the state’s elections secure and accurate. The first meeting of a group that will recommend a replacement voting system showed divides over whether Georgia should use pen-and-paper ballots or touchscreen machines...

Posted: 8 days ago

An effort to trash Georgia’s electronic voting machines got underway Wednesday amid disagreements over how to make the state’s elections secure and accurate. The first meeting of a group that will recommend a replacement voting system showed divides over whether Georgia should use pen-and-paper ballots or touchscreen machines...
Emails show unified opposition to Georgia hacking bill before veto
 Before Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed an anti-hacking bill, he heard about nationwide opposition from tech experts who feared it would make the internet less safe. Everyone who contacted the governor’s office said the bill to outlaw computer snooping shouldn’t become law, according to 65 pages of emails obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...

Posted: 8 days ago

Before Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed an anti-hacking bill, he heard about nationwide opposition from tech experts who feared it would make the internet less safe. Everyone who contacted the governor’s office said the bill to outlaw computer snooping shouldn’t become law, according to 65 pages of emails obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...
Defeated Georgia legislator alleges voters were given wrong ballots
 A member of the Georgia House who was defeated in last month’s primary is seeking a new election because dozens of voters allegedly received the wrong ballot. State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that at least 67 votes — the margin of his defeat in the Republican primary — were cast on ballots...

Posted: 10 days ago

A member of the Georgia House who was defeated in last month’s primary is seeking a new election because dozens of voters allegedly received the wrong ballot. State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that at least 67 votes — the margin of his defeat in the Republican primary — were cast on ballots...
Supreme Court allows voter purges in states like Georgia
 Georgia and other states can target people who haven’t cast ballots in a while in efforts to purge their voting rolls, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in an Ohio case that has drawn wide attention amid stark partisan divisions and the approach of the 2018 elections. By a 5-4 vote that split the conservative and liberal justices...

Posted: 10 days ago

Georgia and other states can target people who haven’t cast ballots in a while in efforts to purge their voting rolls, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in an Ohio case that has drawn wide attention amid stark partisan divisions and the approach of the 2018 elections. By a 5-4 vote that split the conservative and liberal justices...
U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gerrymandering could impact Georgia
 An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering could affect Georgia districts that were redrawn to benefit Republican state legislators. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether it’s unconstitutional to change district borders to benefit one political party over another. That’s what...

Posted: 12 days ago

An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering could affect Georgia districts that were redrawn to benefit Republican state legislators. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether it’s unconstitutional to change district borders to benefit one political party over another. That’s what...
Court finds ‘compelling’ evidence of race-based redistricting in Ga.
 A federal court found “compelling” evidence that Georgia lawmakers redistricted black voters to preserve Republican power at the state Capitol, according to a recent ruling. But the three-judge panel denied a request for a preliminary injunction to halt upcoming elections in the affected districts in Gwinnett and Henry counties...

Posted: 13 days ago

A federal court found “compelling” evidence that Georgia lawmakers redistricted black voters to preserve Republican power at the state Capitol, according to a recent ruling. But the three-judge panel denied a request for a preliminary injunction to halt upcoming elections in the affected districts in Gwinnett and Henry counties...
Opposition to Georgia Republican legislative agenda comes from within
 The biggest naysayers in the Georgia General Assembly aren’t Democrats. Instead, they’re die-hard conservatives within the state’s Republican majority. Seven of the 10 legislators who vote “no” most often are Republicans, according to an analysis of voting records over the past two years by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...

Posted: 14 days ago

The biggest naysayers in the Georgia General Assembly aren’t Democrats. Instead, they’re die-hard conservatives within the state’s Republican majority. Seven of the 10 legislators who vote “no” most often are Republicans, according to an analysis of voting records over the past two years by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...