(CNN) - Voters in several states have receiving bogus text messages or e-mail urging supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to put off voting until Wednesday because of long lines, spurring threats of prosecution in at least two states.
The messages - a perennial election stunt - popped up Tuesday on mobile phones and computers in the battleground states of Florida, Virginia and Missouri, as well as in several other states. One falsely claimed to be a "CNN breaking news" alert.
"All Obama voters, due to long delays, are asked to wait and vote tomorrow 11/05," that message stated.
Election Day is a one-day event, of course - and in a statement issued Tuesday, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said she had "no tolerance" for anyone attempting to confuse voters.
"I am working with local election officials around the state to make sure poll workers and voters understand their rights," said Carnahan, a Democrat.
"Anyone attempting to deprive voters of their rights on Election Day will be prosecuted."
In Maryland, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Douglas Gansler said his office had passed along complaints about the messages to the U.S. Justice Department and state prosecutors.
Similar messages were reported in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Maryland and Arkansas.
In Virginia, hackers breached the computer network at George Mason University to send the message, university Provost Peter Stearns told students, faculty and staff in an e-mail denouncing the hoax.
"I am sure everybody realizes this is a hoax," he said. "It is also a serious offense, and we are looking into it. Please be reminded that Election Day is today, November 4th."
A flyer with a similar message was spread around the Hampton Roads area of southeast Virginia last week. Virginia State Police said Monday that they would not bring charges against the man who printed them, and state Board of Elections Secretary Nancy Rodriguez called the flyers "a joke that got out of control."
Lies and deception from McCain
What a shock!
You know what would be hilarious? If the people who did this got jailed and then were the victim of a silly paperwork mixed and comically ended up on death row! :D
Just for a few weeks, I mean... Then back into the general prison population to serve the rest of their sentence. What a great gag!
I love Obama he is AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Typical of the modern Republican party of today. Trying to steal victory at all cost once again. It is a disgrace and totally Un-American! Stand up America! Get out and Vote, come hell or high water!
To quote a song by the Who: "We Won't Get Fooled Again!!"
How in HELL can they not prosecute the people in Virginia?! I could *maybe* understand if there were some little joke between a few people, but if someone took that "joke" and distributed flyers with this misinformation, at least the person who distributed the flyers should be prosecuted. Unfortunately, Virginia has chosen to make an exmaple of these people–an example that says voter suppression is acceptable.
One more dirty trick from the right wing. Hopefully, those affected are smart enough to see through the charade. I would hope that those on the left would not stoop so low, but to some, all is fair in politics.
USAF Staff Sergeant – anything for an old woman whose job was outsourced?
I think this is absolutely punishable. C'mon!!! its one thing for a Bigfoot hoax like we saw a few months ago, but an issue which affects the CONSTITUTIONAL rights, that is Punishable most definitely!!!
Anyone who participates in deception of this nature should be thrown in jail for the next 4 years. I do not care if they thought it was a "joke".
why isn't there anything out there telling the GOP to vote on a diff date? Wait... what? Oh yeah, cause it's the GOP causing this CRAP.... they seem to be unamerican to me... not letting us vote is american? RIIIIIIIIIGHT
"Elections Secretary Nancy Rodriguez called the flyers "a joke that got out of control."
So let me get this straight. When ACORN solicits phony registrations for voters that don't even exist, the Republicans call for a Federal investigation.
But when people purposely try to disenfranchise actual voters in VA, than it is written off as a joke.
Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture???
I'm convinced that these threats, attacks and jokes are from the liberal left. Obama supporters are the only type of people that would do something of this nature. I mean all one has to do is watch the news. It speaks for it's self.
Gimmicks like these are the only hope for a McCain win. He likes gimmicks, so it fits.
Those perpetrating these types of stunts need to be locked up for a LONG time. The fate of our country could literally be at stake. Just remember how close Florida was in 2000, and other states too in 2000 and 2004.
Virginia State Police made a mistake not dealing with this "joke" swiftly and justly. It basically was giving approval to others to try this "joke".
Why is the man who is known to have printed the fliers that gave voters the incorrect date to vote not being prosecuted? This is an attempt to interfere with the voting process and is a crime, not a joke!
I voted for Obama and this is trouble BUT, how gullible can people be??????
It's a sad fact that Republicans know that when everyone votes they lose. They are not about real democracy. They are not about Contry First – it's an empty slogan.
Are you kidding? Those who go for such joke are idiots and should not be joking, any way!!!
It's a joke people!
Anyone ignorant enough to fall for this trick is more deserving of punishment than the person who sent the message.
If you're dumb enough to fall for it, you shouldn't be voting anyway!
Losers. That's all McCain has, loser supporters make a loser.
I wonder why FOX news has yet to cover this story?
They can send millions of messages but the fact is that pple most pple have already voted...and for OBAMA/BIDEN
Mccain just lost in ARIZONA BY TWO POINTS
Why do the republican voters have to be so ugly? I just don't get it. For "conservatives" who typically hold Christian values in such high regard, this seems to be very un-Christian-like behavior. In fact, they're acting like a bunch of bullying thugs!