Hybrid Event: UNC Press Presents Michael Graff & Nick Ochsner, authors of The Vote Collectors

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Join us for a conversation with Michael Graff & Nick Ochsner, authors of The Vote Collectors. This event will be moderated by Christopher Cooper. 

This is a hybrid event, meaning there is an option to attend virtually and a limited amount of seats available to attend the event in-store. Register for either option:

Please click here to register for the VIRTUAL event. The link required to attend will be emailed to registrants prior to the event. 

Please click here to register for the IN-PERSON event. Note the important event details on the RSVP form.
Seating is limited and registration preferred. Walk-ins wearing masks will be welcome if seats are available.

Like most of our events, this event is free. If you decide to attend and purchase the authors' books, we ask that you purchase from Malaprop's. When you do this you make it possible for us to continue hosting author events and you keep more dollars in our community. You may also support our work by purchasing a gift card or making a donation of any amount below. Thank you!

Books are available at Malaprop's now and signed copies will be available after the event.

In November 2018, Baptist preacher Mark Harris beat the odds, narrowly fending off a blue wave in the sprawling Ninth District of North Carolina. But word soon got around that something fishy was going on in rural Bladen County. At the center of the mess was a local political operative named McCrae Dowless. Dowless had learned the ins and outs of the absentee ballot system from Democrats before switching over to the Republican Party. Bladen County's vote-collecting cottage industry made national headlines, led to multiple election fraud indictments, toppled North Carolina GOP leadership, and left hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians without congressional representation for nearly a year.

In The Vote Collectors, Michael Graff and Nick Ochsner tell the story of the political shenanigans in Bladen County, exposing the shocking vulnerability of local elections and explaining why our present systems are powerless to monitor and prevent fraud. In their hands, this tale of rural corruption becomes a fascinating narrative of the long clash of racism and electioneering--and a larger story about the challenges to democracy in the rural South

At a time rife with accusations of election fraud, The Vote Collectors shows the reality of election stealing in one southern county, where democracy was undermined the old-fashioned way: one absentee ballot at a time.

Michael Graff is a writer and editor in Charlotte, NC with work published in The Guardian, ESPN, Garden & Gun, The Oxford American, POLITICO, and more. He is the editor of Axios Charlotte. 

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

Christopher A. Cooper is Robert Lee Madison Distinguished Professor and Director of the Public Policy Institute at Western Carolina University. His academic research features over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on NC politics, state politics, southern politics, and elections.  He is also co-author of The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of its People and co-editor of The New Politics of North Carolina (both published by the University of North Carolina Press) and has contributed writing to outlets including the Washington Post, Raleigh News and Observer, The Assembly, and the Asheville Citizen Times. Cooper is a frequent source for news stories about North Carolina and national politics and he has been quoted in a variety of media including the New York Times, Time, the (Raleigh) News and Observer, Charlotte Observer, and Blue Ridge Public Radio. He has been called “obsessive about North Carolina politics, but in a good way” on the New Yorker Radio Hour and “the Yoda of local political experts" on WLOS.


Event address: 
Virtual and in-person options
55 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801
The Vote Collectors: The True Story of the Scamsters, Politicians, and Preachers Behind the Nation's Greatest Electoral Fraud Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469665566
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Carolina Press - November 16th, 2021

SKU: x672389