The Secretary of State’s office needs to be completely open and transparent about everything that went wrong with the state’s new paper ballot machines during the Tuesday trial run. The state must also be just as open and transparent about what is being done to fix the snafus. 

Join the Valdosta Daily Times newsroom each Tuesday at 10 a.m. for Budget Live, a livestream of our news planning meetings. Share news tips. Ask questions. Make suggestions. Interact with reporters in real time. Learn how news coverage is planned and executed. Budget Live is part of our Lift…

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VALDOSTA — “Sunshine Laws: A Guide to Open Government in Georgia,” known as the state as "Red Book" has been updated, revised and the sixth edition is now available to the public. 

VALDOSTA — So you think your local government has been illegally meeting in secret or withholding public records. What do you do?

VALDOSTA — Every local government is required to designate a public records custodian and make that person's contact information readily available to the public. 

VALDOSTA — Some people have interesting ideas about what constitutes a “public record” — such as songs.

ATLANTA — The Georgia ethics commission announced Thursday it filed complaints against 13 lawmakers for campaign finance law violations — including not disclosing donations.

Sometimes local elected officials complain that cities and counties are required to comply with Sunshine Law mandates from the state but the General Assembly exempts itself from those same requirements. 

Listening to Cynde Strand describe what it was like for a journalist covering the mass protest and government crackdown in 1989 at Tiananmen Square was chilling. 

When the Georgia General Assembly rewrote and ratified new Sunshine Laws in 2012, lawmakers put some real teeth in the law. Now it is a criminal offense to violate the Georgia Open Records Act and Open Meetings Act. 

When city council, county commission, the board of education or any other government agency has a closed door meeting, the person who presides over that meeting must sign a notarized affidavit attesting the meeting was conducted legally. 

VALDOSTA — Every Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., the news staff of The Valdosta Daily Times meets for a Facebook Live news budget meeting.

When a city or county government makes big decisions — especially those decisions that involve raising your taxes or making zoning changes that could affect the value of your property — it is required to place a public notice in the local newspaper. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sunshine Week is an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for the public. The week is sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee. Sunshine Week is March 10-16. This story is one in a series of related…

State Reps. Tom McCall, Micah Gravley, Alan Powell, Robert Trammell and Barry Fleming are supporting a bill that could damage the public’s ability to hold local government accountable. 

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