NC Elections Chairman Quits Over Inappropriate Joke

Jul 31, 2019

State Board of Elections Chairman Bob Cordle, center, and board member David Black, right, watch a presentation by one of the vendors seeking certification for use in North Carolina elections.
Credit Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

North Carolina's Board of Elections Chairman has resigned after opening a statewide meeting of elections officials with a joke about cows and women who don't want sex.

Gov. Roy Cooper accepted Democrat Robert Cordle's resignation on Tuesday.

WRAL reports Wake County Board of Elections member Gerry Cohen called the joke Cordle told Monday "misogynistic and wildly inappropriate." Cordle apologized in his resignation letter.

His departure leaves the board split 2-2 for a key vote Thursday on new elections equipment. The board voted Monday to delay certification until August to consider requiring "human-readable marks on a paper ballot" as a security measure, before backtracking hours later. Cordle's resignation could deadlock the board ahead of fast-approaching elections.