CNN Wires Writer
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: 2008 Election
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