Democrat Bob Cordle of Charlotte, Gov. Roy Cooper’s choice to lead the state Board of Elections, did the right thing on Tuesday by resigning his office. He did so after backlash from an off-color joke he told at a conference on Monday attended by hundreds of state election officials.

“I sincerely apologize to those who heard my joke at the elections conference on Monday and all those affected by my words,” Cordle said in a written statement Tuesday.

We don’t know what the joke was and we don’t want to know. Elections board member Gerry Cohen, who was at the elections conference, told WRAL that it 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.”

Cooper has not announced a replacement yet, but we hope it will be soon, and we hope it will be someone better suited for a leadership role. A full, active board is needed, especially as we face the election challenges mentioned above.

Even in this current age with its coarsened political dialogue, North Carolina should be setting a higher standard.

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