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. Yvette Petit-frere

    I cant wait to see BARACK OBAMA BE THE NExT PRESIDEN because is the number one president who can change the world for good.

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Bob, NC

    That's funny as hell, only the Obama supporters would be ignorant enough to believe them anyway and take them as anything more than a joke.

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Blake

    If you aren't aware enough to realize when an election is scheduled, then you're not aware enought to vote! Anyone who can be fooled by such a joke (even if it wasn't a joke) doesn't need to be making a decision on the future of our country!

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. s.m

    I live in las vegas and was very confused where I was supposed to go vote until I opened my door this morning and a flyer fell from the door telling me where to go vote. When I showed up there was no record of me registering. I went with a group of people that day to register. nothing found in any of our records. how odd!

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

    Every scheme to create confusion in order to steal this election will fail woefully !

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Common

    are people stupid enough to be tricked by this hoax smart enough to choose the leader of the free world?

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. ugotmeinsd_619

    WOW – all the sacrifices our military men & women of past & present have made in order for us to have the write to democracy and this is what it turns out to be.

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. 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 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. Sam in SC

    A man standing next to me in our 3 hour line to vote received that text message on his cell phone from his son. They both thought it was a great joke and laughed. I was horrified, but I didn't say so since everyone seemed to be in a good mood, there had been no partisan comments, and no incidents had occurred. However, we didn't talk much after that.

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. Ben

    I think liberals need to lighten up and have a sense of humor. Quit taking things so seriously.

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. David

    This is appalling and should be dealt harshly. No one has the right to try and sabotage or influence an election.

    It does not matter if people fall for these tactics and those found responsible should be held accountable and publicly punished for this type of election fraud.

    Directly or indirectly it is the Republican Party that is responsible for these tactics.

    Obama has every right to as does McCain and if voters choose Obama then so be it. Those responsible should show their faces in public instead of trying to hide their identities. Be "man" enough to show your face in public! These people are lowlifes and should have their rights taken away!

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. George Greek

    HOW DESPERATE WILL REPUGNICANS GET???!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. angel

    Those who printed the flyers should be prosecuted. I don't find it funny at all. What if we gave them a pink slip after they worked all day and then tell them, they won't get paid today either, cause we accidentally forgot to give it to them yesterday!

    Now that's funny!

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. Dave in Canada

    I don't think it matters much, the only folks that ole gag would fool are republican.

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. Bright Mhango Baghaya

    I know who is behind all this crap, its the racist brothers! All hail prophecy all hail upliftment.

    November 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. Joe in New York

    Personally, I think Ms. Rodriguez should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting. "A joke" - hysterical.

    USAF Staff Sarge - I'm an Airman's son and I think your post was spot on...I'll point some likely candidates your way :-)

    November 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. Ken in Sausalito

    Since when does illegally attempting to disenfranchise voters qualify as a "joke?"

    Elections Secretary Nancy Rodriguez should be fired immediately. Then the joke would be on her, and I'd be more amused than I am right now.

    Right now I'm just disgusted.

    November 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. jersey girl

    It's sad that someone will be gullible enough to believe it. There are so many more stupid people out there than we want to believe. I agree totally with Elle. The more public morality we see, the more scandalous they are behind closed doors. See Sarah Palin's pregnant, drinking, teen daughter and Daniel Craig's solicitation of gay sex in bathrooms. They all do it, but why preach what you can't practice? You can't legislate values and morality.

    November 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. BC in CA

    I vote that we take up USAF Staff Sergeants generous offer and sentence them to report to him!!!

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

    Please don't tell me there are people stupid enough to believe they can vote tomorrow??

    November 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. Moderate in IL

    If you're gullible enough to think these messages are real, maybe you shouldn't be voting.

    November 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. hahahaha

    This is great. If anyone falls for it, they shouldnt be voting in the first place. hahaha

    November 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Chuck

    Why does stuff like this come mostly from the Republicans–every time around? A new American tradition, perhaps?

    Evil people.

    November 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. Marylou South Carolina

    The man that made and distributed the flyers should be PROSECUTED. This is not a joke..and is election fraud. Just the fact alone that he copied an official government letterhead and logo is enough to send him to jail. NOT FUNNY

    November 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. John Henry

    This kind of low down, scurrilious activity just cost the republicans in ky two votes. My wife and both have had enough of the republican smear and fear tactics.
    Voted straight democrat ticket....

    November 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8