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From Serial: The Improvement Association

A couple of years in the past, Bladen County, N.C., made nationwide headlines. In 2018, Mark Harris, a Republican, beat out his Democratic opponent for a congressional seat, however the election was later thrown out and a brand new election was referred to as after his marketing campaign was investigated over suspicions of absentee-ballot fraud.

However in response to some native residents, the authorities bought all of it incorrect. They are saying there’s a robust group nonetheless at work within the county, tampering with elections, bullying voters and stealing votes — a Black advocacy group, the Bladen County Enchancment Affiliation PAC. These accusations have by no means been substantiated, however they persist.

Be part of Zoe Chace as she travels to Bladen County to seek out out what’s behind all this suspicion. Who precisely is making the accusations? And in small-town politics, the place rumors and allegations abound, how will you ensure who’s telling the reality?

Throughout a hearing that followed the infamous case of election fraud in Bladen County, the Bladen Enchancment PAC was talked about and dragged into the scandal. Later, Horace Munn, one of many PAC’s leaders, reached out to Zoe with an invite to return right down to North Carolina and listen to what’s behind all these dishonest allegations.

Zoe talks to individuals in North Carolina who consider the Bladen Enchancment PAC has been dishonest for years. She tries to get past the rumors and into specifics; within the course of, she comes head to head with the extreme suspicion and scrutiny leveled towards the group. In the course of one other election, Zoe follows members of the PAC to look at how they function and tries to make sense of all these allegations towards them.

Zoe Chace, the reporter for this sequence, has been a producer at This American Life since 2015. Earlier than that, she was a reporter for NPR’s Planet Cash workforce, in addition to an NPR producer.

Nancy Updike, the producer for this sequence, is a senior editor at This American Life and one of many founding producers of the present.

Transcripts of every episode of The Enchancment Affiliation will likely be out there by the subsequent workday after an episode publishes.

The Enchancment Affiliation was reported by Zoe Chace; produced by Nancy Updike, with assist from Amy Pedulla; edited by Julie Snyder, Sarah Koenig, Neil Drumming and Ira Glass; editorial consulting by R.L. Nave and Tim Tyson; fact-checking and analysis by Ben Phelan; and sound design and blend by Phoebe Wang.

The unique rating for The Enchancment Affiliation was written and carried out by Kwame Brandt-Pierce.

Particular due to Sam Dolnick, Julie Whitaker, Seth Lind, Julia Simon, Nora Keller, Emanuele Berry, Ndeye Thioubou, Alena Cerro and Lauren Jackson.

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