North Carolina elections chair resigns after joke relating cows to women

North Carolina elections chair resigns after joke relating cows to women

The chairman of North Carolina’s State Board of Elections resigned Tuesday after he made a joke in front of hundreds of election officials relating cows to women, WRAL reported.

Gov. Roy Cooper (D) accepted the resignation of Democrat Robert Cordle with immediate effect, just seven months after he was appointed to help investigate claims of absentee ballot voting irregularities in the disputed 9th District House race.

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"The State Board of Elections needs to continue its important work without distraction to ensure the integrity of our electoral process," Cooper's spokesman said in a statement

Cordle reportedly made the joke during the opening of a meeting on Monday with local elections directors and board members from across North Carolina.

The punchline ended up comparing a cow who refused to be impregnated to a woman, the outlet noted.

Cordle said he hadn’t heard any complaints about the bit and believed he got a “big laugh” but apologized in his resignation letter.

"I sincerely apologize to those who heard my joke at the elections conference on Monday and all those affected by my words," he wrote.

Wake County Board of Elections member Gerry Cohen called it "an extremely lengthy dirty joke" that was "misogynistic and wildly inappropriate for a high-ranking state official to tell ... to kick off a training session of 600 election officials and administrators."

Cordle was one of three Democrats and two Republicans appointed by Cooper in January and was unanimously selected chairman. 

The state elections board opened an investigation into the disputed 9th District House race and threw out the results of a November 2018 vote showing then-Republican candidate Mark HarrisMark HarrisThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate Why my American Indian tribe voted Republican in NC's special election North Carolina race raises 2020 red flags for Republicans, Democrats MORE edging out Democrat Dan McCready by fewer than 1,000 ballots.

After the elections board tossed out the initial results and ordered a new election, Harris announced that he would not continue his campaign for the 9th District seat.