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FEC to Fight Fake Candidates Like ‘Deez Nuts’

The Federal Election Commission said it will start to remove “unlawfully false or fictitious” names like “Deez Nuts” from polling data.

“The Commission has authorized staff to send verification letters to filers listing fictional characters, obscene language, sexual references, celebrities (where this is no indication that the named celebrity submitted the filing), animals, or similarly implausible entities as the name or contact information of the candidate or committee,” the agency said in a statement Thursday.

The Hill reports:

The FEC said it now has an interim procedure staff to “verify information in filings from the 2016 election cycle that appear to be unlawfully false or fictitious.”

“The new procedure comes in response to an increase this election cycle in the filing registration and statement of candidacy forms (FEC Forms 1 and 2) that provide patently false candidate or treasurer names, questionable contact or bank information, or material that does not relate to campaign finance, such as drawings, essays and personal court records.”

The FEC also announced its staff will now warn potentially false filers of possible fines and related procedures for dealing with them.

Agency employees will also notify questionable filers of concerns, letting them verify their identities before taking action.

The FEC added that a “staff working group” would create and propose a new strategy for dealing with similar filings during the 2017–2018 election cycle.

Deez Nuts earned national buzz last year when the joke candidate endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic presidential primary.

Reports emerged in August 2015 that Deez Nuts was actually Brady Olson, a then-15 year old from Iowa who had registered an independent White House run with the FEC.

Olson filed the paperwork in late July 2015. Anyone can fill out a statement of candidacy as the information is not checked against public records.

After candidates fundraise at least $5,000, he or she must fill out forms with legal names and legitimate contact information.

Gag candidates like Deez Nuts have gained headlines this election cycle by occasionally reaping success in major polls.

A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released Tuesday, for example, had Deez Nuts polling ahead of Green Party nominee Jill Stein in Texas.

Photo credit: ABC News / Screenshot.

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