We just passed the mid-day mark, and from our reports here at Facing South/Voting Rights Watch, one thing is clear: dirty tricks aimed at deceiving voters and suppressing their vote are alive and well in certain quarters of the South.

It's hard to say if the dirty tricks are connected, but the stories are cropping up across the region:

* A popular voter suppression strategy is to deceive voters with bogus announcements that the election date has changed. CNN reports that voters in Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas reported receiving text messages telling Democrats to vote on Wednesday, the day after the election.

* It's not just text messages. As we reported earlier, someone hacked the computers at George Mason University and sent an email blast to students wrongfully saying that voting had been moved to November 5. CNN also says an e-mail circulated in Arkansas also told voters they could still cast their ballots on Wednesday.

* As we reported earlier, voters in North Carolina and Virginia have reported receiving official-looking fliers claiming that the election date has changed to Nov. 5.

* Also in Virginia, voters have been receiving anonymous robo-calls giving out the wrong information about their precinct location.

How much impact do these dirty tricks have? A lot less than they used to, especially with the ability of groups to quickly identify and report them.

But those carrying out deceptive election tactics clearly hope that in close races -- like those in Southern battleground states this year -- they can shave off just enough voters to keep things close, or even win.

Unfortunately, enforcement of laws against such tactics is sporadic. For example, Virginia officials announced yesterday they would not be prosecuting those behind the deceptive flier distributed in Hampton Roads, deciding it was merely an "office joke." Rep. John Conyers had called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the matter.