Social Media & Politics

This was a very interesting State BOElections meeting. The chair of Rowan Co's board has made social media posts that were racist in nature and also used social media to endorse candidates. As the face of the Elections board, this is not appropriate--the chair must maintain conduct that reassures the public that elections are fair, and fairly run.

The State BOE has contacted Malcolm "Mac" Butner on multiple occasions regarding posts he has made. Shortly after Butner's appt when these posts became public, Butner did close his FB page, but the twitter account remains open.
His Facebook posts included:

Facebook posts praising the Confederacy and suggesting that black citizens who participated in protests against state policies weren't "productive good citizens" with jobs.

How to regulate social media usage is new to this board and Butner has a long history of intemperent remarks. Two state board members felt the remarks were made well before Butner took office, but 3 felt this was a history of inappropriate remarks that called into question Butner's ability to continue representing the board. Even Butner's own party has called for his removal from office, partly because the email listing 3 possible names for appointment to the Rowan board reversed the order of preference, listing Butner as 1st choice instead of 3rd.

Butner was not here today, and no one was here to represent him. His only remarks to this board have been that he has the right to do whatever he wants. The State Board Chair says, no, he does not. The Chair of a Board of Elections cannot publicly endorse candidates, including on FB, twitter or other social media.

By a vote of 3-2, a resolution calling for Butner's removal from office was passed. (the vote was bi-partisan for removal) Mr. Butner has the option to appeal this decision to Wake Superior Court, or he can file a law suit against the State Board.

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