Rowan elections official dismissed for alleged racist Facebook posts

Malcolm “Mac” Butner
Malcolm “Mac” Butner WBTV

The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted Thursday to dismiss Malcolm “Mac” Butner from the Rowan County Board of Elections.

The controversy deals with Facebook posts made by Butner that some characterized as racist.

In a public notice before the meeting, the board said it would decide whether it shall remove Butner from the Rowan County Board of Elections for “incompetency, neglect or failure to perform duties, fraud, or for any other satisfactory cause,” according to the notice.

Last year, Butner was pressured to resign from a local housing agency after he made online posts that included a photo of the Confederate battle flag, praise for the Confederacy and the suggestion that those protesting the policies of Republican leaders were unemployed blacks who are not “productive good citizens” like white people.

In one post Butner claimed liberals and Democrats “don’t have a principled bone in their body and they don’t care even if our constitutional republic is destroyed. To hell with the lesbos, queers, liberals and baby killers,” he added.

“The primary difference between the leaders of the Confederate States of America and the Union is that Confederate leaders were godly gentlemen and the Union folks were not,” Butner also posted.

Butner told the state board in a letter he did nothing wrong but couldn’t respond fully due to medical problems. He didn’t attend the hearing.

State elections board chairman Josh Howard said Butner had a long record of intemperate remarks that undermined the public’s confidence that he would count everyone’s vote equally.

In July, North Carolina Republican Party officials said they were unaware of racially tinged social media posts made by Butner. North Carolina GOP Press Secretary Kara Carter on Thursday called the posts “offensive” and urged state elections officials to take “appropriate action.”

Butner said he did make disparaging remarks against William Barber and the N.C. NAACP as well as the Moral Monday protests. “Yes, I made disparaging remarks because I think they are all wrong,” Butner told The Salisbury Post in June 2014.

Butner was selected to serve as chairman of the Rowan County Board of Elections in July 2015. State GOP officials now say that Butner’s appointment was a “clerical error.”

Butner has refused to resign from the position, prompting the hearing on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed