The Vote Collectors, a Ferris & Ferris Book coming Fall 2021

The following guest post by Nick Ochsner, co-author with Michael Graff of the forthcoming Ferris & Ferris Book The Vote Collectors: The True Story of the Scamsters, Politicians, and Preachers behind the Nation’s Greatest Electoral Fraud, has been adapted and unthreadded from a post that originally appeared on Twitter.

I’m excited to listen to the new Serial podcast from Zoe Chance! The shock-waves from the 2018 election scandal in Bladen County are still being felt in our nation’s politics today. This new podcast caps a big 7 days in the “election fraud” world.

Let’s start with Georgia, where the governor signed a sweeping new election reform bill that Republicans say is necessary to maintain election integrity and Democrats say is aimed at stifling minority voters. On the same day that bill was signed, the US Department of Justice announced it finally ended a years-long investigation into what was thought to be a wide-scale network of illegal voters in North Carolina (it wasn’t). Good recap on that from Travis Fain and Tyler Dukes. The years-long DOJ investigation into the election- fraud-that-wasn’t is what distracted the US Attorney’s office in Raleigh from investigating the actual election fraud playing out in Bladen County they’d been warned about by folks like Josh Lawson. Coincidentally, the election fraud in Bladen County can be traced back 100+ years and to a history of white people trying to keep Black people from voting and Black voters doing whatever necessary to have their voices heard.

That history starts mid-1800’s & runs through the Wilmington riot, the Jim Crow era & up to present day. I’ve traced how all that mixed to explode into the 2018 election scandal in a new book with Michael N. Graff.

I can’t wait for y’all to read the book and listen to the @serial podcast. I’m positive your takeaway from both will be that what happened in 2018 wasn’t in a vacuum and involves a long, complex history of race and politics.

Nick Ochsner is chief investigative reporter at WBTV in Charlotte, NC.