What they’re saying:
David Graham, The Atlantic
The 2018 North Carolina Ninth District U.S. House race was one of the most dramatic election-fraud cases in modern American history and, even in the Trump era, one of the weirder political stories of the decade. Yet while the case was intensively covered by the national, international, and local media, no account has managed to get such access nor to lay out the context as comprehensively as this book. It is rollicking, deeply reported, and a delight to read.”
Zoe Chace, producer, This American Life and host of The Improvement Association
To understand the truth behind the voter fraud accusations that continue to roil the country, there’s no better place to look than Bladen County, N.C., and no better person to talk to than charming, chain-smoking McCrae Dowless. Through their exclusive access to McCrae, Ochsner and Graff are able to unravel the secrets of Bladen County’s election drama, a tale that stretches all the way from Reconstruction, through the Voting Rights Act, to today’s election-integrity wars. The Vote Collectors reveals what happened in this one county in North Carolina while delivering an urgent warning about what’s happening everywhere else.
Clyde Edgerton, author of Walking across Egypt and The Night Train
The Vote Collectors,, an intense nonfiction drama, sings like a novel and shocks like a rigged court case. It’s sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking-always building, never slow. Michael Graff and Nick Ochsner describe, dead-on, the rural America that brings discomfort to comfortable city folks–the real, up-close rural America where small-minded power brokers gather in small rooms to work and rework a system in which justice has become a sad, outdated myth. The Vote Collectors is about a struggling rural county, and thus it is about a struggling South, and thus it is about a struggling America-where unleashed politicians successfully goad citizens to loathe each other. Drop your cable ‘news’ shows; read a book that is about real things. Our times are too much like 1860 to sit home and watch TV.”
Ron Nixon, Global Investigative Editor, Associated Press
The story of the election fraud that upended a 2018 congressional election in Bladen County, North Carolina, received national attention when it occurred. But authors Michael Graff and Nick Ochsner give readers not only a deeper look into the players in the election fraud, which caused officials to throw out the results of that congressional race, but also a rich and detailed history of a place in which class and race have long been central to the political discourse, and of the people who live there. A well-crafted narrative by two reporters with local ties and firsthand knowledge of the area.
Michael J. Mooney, New York Times bestselling author of The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle: American Sniper, Navy SEAL
The Vote Collectors is the true tale of a pernicious crime-voter fraud-that has the potential to upend our entire democracy. And at its core, this book is also an elegant, infuriating, heartbreaking story about what really happens behind closed doors in America. It’s a saga about the nature of corruption, the fragile bonds of family, and the importance of truth, all rendered in incredible detail. And if you somehow ignore the lessons of The Vote Collectors, you do so at your own peril.” —