Should forwarding misleading emails regarding the election be a felony?

If the following is true, it strikes me as a special case of pass along emails.  (Mostly) Well-meaning people forward emails all the time.  Some times they are true and representative, some times they are false or worse. I'm not one to say "there ought to be a law" but I'd love to find some way to give people pause before they pass along emails to large groups of people.  I think as a rule, most people would benefit from establishing a personal rule that bans the mass forwarding of almost any email.

The rant below is what got me started on this topic today.  If it's true that some people are knowingly sending emails designed to rob South Carolina voters of their right to vote for the candidates of their choice, then I'm not sure it shouldn't be a crime.

Urgent warning about Republican tricks!

Some really bad people are sending emails that say not to vote a straight Democratic ticket in SC. Some say that your vote won't count for Obama if you vote a straight Democratic ticket, or that pushing the Democratic button will cancel your vote. Some of them even pretend to come from the Democratic Party.
They are a scam by the Republicans to keep us from voting for all the Democratic candidates,or to confuse us and slow down the voting. Don't believe them. Voting the straight Democratic ticket is the best way to have your vote counted for Obama and all the Democrats.
I intend to vote for Barack Obama and all the other Democratic candidates by pushing the Democratic button. You should do it, too!
Please forward this email to everyone you know. Tell them to check with the SC Election Commission at to see the truth.
This election is too important for you or anyone else to fall for a trick.

Carol Fowler, Chair
South Carolina Democratic Party

About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.