November 4th, 2008
05:06 PM ET
6 years ago

Fake messages target Obama backers

Fake text messages were sent out on Election Day.
Fake text messages were sent out on Election Day.

(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."


Filed under: Voter Problems
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Judy

    How much more are we going to let the Republicans slide on???
    These people should be prosecuted, disenfranchising voters is no joke! I agree with Barbara.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Paul

    "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."

    This guy clearly does not understand his Constitution! There is NO Constitutional right to vote for the President. Sorry people, but that is the truth. Look for yourselves. The Constitution only says who cannot be excluded from voting, but there is no RIGHT guaranteed in the Constitution. There are rights guaranteed for free speech, bear arms, etc.., but NOT TO VOTE.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. s

    How are these people not fined and Jailed HOW????????????????
    O wait, nobody impeached these Criminals for the past 8 years.. but they impeached a guy for cheating on his wife... That's how!

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Hummer Bob in Portland

    Any registered voter stupid enough to be fooled by such an e-mail or flyer shouldn't be voting anyway.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. ajk

    That exact e-mail is going around Phoenix, AZ, as well. I am hoping that voters are smart enough to understand TODAY is election day no matter who you are voting for...I understand that I received this as a joke, but I know many who may not have thought of it as a joke due to how it was written. It is unfortunate this is taking place for any candidate running for any office in the US.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. tennisguypitt

    I'm 18, and I proudly cast my vote for Barack Obama!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08! History in the making!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Melissa

    USAF Staff Sergeant – Find out who he is and go pick him up – please

    Teach him that we have a long history of men and women that have lost their lives to ensure that we have the right to vote and anyone that would attempt to tick or bully others into giving up that right goes against everything that this country stands for.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. Chi4Obama

    To: USAF Staff Sergeant November 4th, 2008 5:09 pm ET

    I'd be happy to sign up. But only if Obama is elected. He will ensure that as a future "Veteran", I will have ample benefits down the road (smile).

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Susie

    I don't get why that man wouldn't be prosecuted. This is a serious crime, whether he meant it as a "joke" or not. The law should absolutely go after all offenders. Voter suppression is no joke and is an affront to everyone, Democrat or Republican.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. Patriot

    More scummy Repug tactics. They can't win honestly, so they have to resort to this. Pathetic. Let's hope that after today, we will hear from them no more.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. patrick in san diego

    Anyone stupid enough to fall for the joke in the first place should be revoked of all voting privileges, period.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Brooklyn Ron

    For once I'd like to see these hooligans rounded up, arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This sort of BS intimidation and misinformation seems to always be targeted at Democratic supporters. I think a few years in a state prison will become a wonderful deterrent for the future. Otherwise, they can go meet USAF Staff Sergeant for a chance to win a long term vacation!

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. Colleen

    Its sad that they actually target certain people for these messages. As if you are not as intelligent as they are. A desperate attempt by people who know they will lose a fair fight.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. SurferDude2000

    I agree with the above comments...that idea, whether it was a joke or not, was misleading and wrong. This election, like any other, is an important, serious matter.

    That being said....if you are an "American" and don't know that the election takes place on only 1 day.....then perhaps falling for that fraudulent e-mail is your due punishment for being so ignorant of the country's election process.

    P.S.- For these people that are overjoyed and "finally proud to be an American voting today"..................where were you 4 years ago. Didn't it matter then, too?

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. Dave in Ohio

    If someone is ignorant enough to fall for this they don't deserve to vote. I wonder how many text messages the guy that registered 2,000,000,000,000 time with ACORN got today....

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Alyx -- Pittsburgh, PA

    I am terrified they [the RNC] are going to steal this election. Please go out and vote! Everyone has at least an hour and forty more minutes to get in line!

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Rick

    Ha thats great

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. marine (recruit) dad

    Staff, you don't want these 8-balls in the service. My son's in Marine boot camp near Pendleton, and he says his fellow recruits are outstanding young people.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Dan G.

    The Democrats put this out every election just so they can say the Republicans are trying to suppress the vote.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. CAB

    hate too disappoint it does not have to be Republicans. It can be anybody but regardless it is illegal and is wrong. All sorts of things bring out the worst in people. Such as all those who have jumped to the conclusion it must be a Republican and made nasty comments. Maybe it is an Independant or a Democrat who jumped ship.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Ryan

    Is the Democratic party so unsure of their supporter's intelligence to honestly be worried about someone actually waiting until the 5th? Idiots.

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. A Democrat

    TIme for some fried chicken, chitlins, collard greens and sweet potato pie. GO OBAMA... LOVE, PEACE and CHICKEN GREASE!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. fhl

    USAF Staff Sergeant, Why don't we just leave this man without any work and re-distribute wealth to him. That is waht Obamaiash wants anyway.

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Jen Obamarama

    :"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!"

    I agree.

    Additionally, it will not be a laughing matter when the election is thrown off completely. This is not funny at all, and no, not all people will realize it is a hoax, because not all people have 24/7 access to news where they can learn that this is a prank and not the real thing.

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Lisa

    After reading this and having our Obama sign stolen yesterday , it just seems that the people doing this reflect the neo-cons they are voting for... the lack of integrity is so clear and transparent in those who are uneducated and fear their voice is not articulate enough to be able to stand in a real debate were freedom of speech is honored and dirty tricks are deemed unnecessary.

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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