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Secret Service says Facebook assassination poll posed no threat

The person who created and posted an online poll asking if President Barack Obama should be assassinated is a juvenile and will not be charged with a crime, according to the U.S. Secret Service.

The Secret Service identified the person behind the poll within a day of launching an investigation and conducted an interview with the juvenile, said Special Agent and spokesman Ed Donovan. He said agency is not disclosing the name, the sex, the age or the address of the pollster.

“It was a mistake on that person's part,” said Donovan.

The Secret Service began its investigation on Monday after agents were alerted to a Facebook poll asking: The poll asked “Should Obama be killed?” Responents could answer: yes; maybe; yes, if he cuts my health care; and no.

The poll, which went online over the weekend, was taken down early Monday after the Secret Service alerted Facebook that it was on the site.

Neither the Secret Service nor Facebook would say how many people voted in the poll or what the results were. A screen shot of the poll, which was posted on the blog, The Political Carnival, shows that at some point at least 387 people had voted.

Earlier this week, Barry Schnitt, a spokesman for Facebook Inc., was quick to point out that the poll did not originate from social networking site, but instead was posted via a third party application.

A source within law enforcement noted that while posting the poll was not illegal, federal investigators couldn't discount the possibility that the person behind the poll had malicious intentions. The source said the Secret Service found and interviewed the person in order to gauge his or her intent.

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