6 episodes

For at least a decade, allegations of cheating have swirled around elections in rural Bladen County, N.C. Some people in town point fingers at a Black advocacy group, the Bladen County Improvement Association, accusing it of bullying voters, tampering with ballots and stealing votes outright. These accusations have never been substantiated, but they persist.

Reporter Zoe Chace went to Bladen County to investigate what’s really going on. From the makers of Serial and The New York Times, a five-part series about allegations of election fraud — and the powerful forces that fuel them.

The Improvement Association The New York Times

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 1.4K Ratings

For at least a decade, allegations of cheating have swirled around elections in rural Bladen County, N.C. Some people in town point fingers at a Black advocacy group, the Bladen County Improvement Association, accusing it of bullying voters, tampering with ballots and stealing votes outright. These accusations have never been substantiated, but they persist.

Reporter Zoe Chace went to Bladen County to investigate what’s really going on. From the makers of Serial and The New York Times, a five-part series about allegations of election fraud — and the powerful forces that fuel them.

    Chapter Five: ‘Democrat, Republican, White, Black, Green’

    Chapter Five: ‘Democrat, Republican, White, Black, Green’

    The Improvement Association PAC’s power in the county is threatened when an unlikely candidate enters the race for county commissioner. Plenty of people outside the PAC now have their own ideas about how to build Black political power here. Zoe examines what this election could mean for the PAC’s future.

    • 48 min
    Chapter Four: ‘Let Them Pull the Red Wagon’

    Chapter Four: ‘Let Them Pull the Red Wagon’

    With the PAC’s reputation suffering because of years of cheating accusations and resentment stirring within its ranks, a prominent member turns against the leadership. Nevertheless, Horace and his closest allies make a bold move by supporting a political upset at the center of the county.

    • 51 min
    Chapter Three: ‘The Ballad of the Nursing Home Ballots’

    Chapter Three: ‘The Ballad of the Nursing Home Ballots’

    Zoe delves into one of the most serious allegations against the Bladen Improvement PAC: an accusation about stealing votes from vulnerable people that goes back 10 years. In trying to track down the veracity of this particularly persistent rumor, she comes to understand how and why election cheating allegations are so sticky.

    • 39 min
    Chapter Two: ‘Where Is Your Choice?’

    Chapter Two: ‘Where Is Your Choice?’

    Zoe talks to people in the county who believe the Bladen Improvement PAC has been cheating for years. She tries to get beyond the rumors and into specifics, and comes face to face with the intense suspicion and scrutiny leveled against the organization. In the middle of another election, Zoe goes out with members of the PAC to watch how they operate and try to make sense of all these allegations against them.

    • 44 min
    Chapter One: ‘The Big Shadoo’

    Chapter One: ‘The Big Shadoo’

    Following a notorious case of election fraud in Bladen County, North Carolina, in 2018, the reporter Zoe Chace gets an invitation from Horace Munn, the leader of the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC, a Black political advocacy group whose name was dragged into the scandal. Horace asks Zoe to come down and investigate for herself and find out who is really cheating.

    • 44 min
    Trailer

    Trailer

    A new podcast from the makers of "Serial" and The New York Times. For at least a decade, allegations of cheating have swirled around elections in rural Bladen County, N.C. Some people in town point fingers at a Black advocacy group, the Bladen County Improvement Association, accusing it of bullying voters, tampering with ballots and stealing votes outright. These accusations have never been substantiated, but they persist. In this five-part series, reporter Zoe Chace travels to Bladen County, N.C., to investigate the power of election fraud allegations.

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
1.4K Ratings

1.4K Ratings

KimF50 ,

Interesting, organized, professional

This was an interesting podcast presented in a high quality, professional manner. It was well researched, well organized and edited, and fairly reported. This is a good example of real investigative journalism, in contrast with most of the drivel out there these days that is not actually journalism. I also like the host’s voice, and generally the audio quality was good, both of which are important when you’re listening to something for hours.

AndreaDMelcher ,

Point was unclear

“A true story about election fraud” is the tagline for this podcast. I’m not entirely sure what this podcast was about, but it definitely was NOT about actual election fraud - at least not after the first 10-15 minutes. There are some interesting points about how allegations of fraud take on a life of their own, racial issues in voting and the challenges small towns face. But overall it was never clear what the point of the series was.

oldjohnhall ,

Worst Voice on Radio

Unlistenable

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