The makers of Serial are gearing up to release a new podcast focusing on North Carolina’s 2018 congressional election scandal. 

At first, it seemed Republican Mark Harris narrowly defeated Democrat Dan McCready in the 9th District Congressional race.

It was too good to be true. Upon investigation, election officials uncovered absentee ballot fraud. The investigation found that among mail-in ballots, Harris snagged more than 60 percent of the vote despite registered Republicans making up only 19 percent of those who voted by mail.

The Improvement Association podcast is a collaboration between the producers of Serial and The New York Times. This American Life producer Zoe Chace traveled to North Carolina to attend court hearings and conduct interviews.

“We’ve been working with them for well over a year on that project,” North Carolina State Board of Elections spokesman Pat Gannon told the INDY. “They were patient. They asked for a lot of information, and we’ve provided what we can.”

The series will not only cover the election and its aftermath but also rumors among locals that “the authorities got it all wrong,” according to The New York Times.

“They say there’s a powerful group still at work in the county, tampering with elections, bullying voters and stealing votes—a Black advocacy group, the Bladen County Improvement Association,” the Times wrote. “These accusations have never been substantiated, but they persist.”

The series will debut on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify on April 13. 

“I hope the podcast demonstrates that when voter fraud occurs in North Carolina, it will be discovered and properly addressed,” Gannon says. 


Follow Senior Staff Writer Leigh Tauss on Twitter or send an email to ltauss@indyweek.com

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