On July 26, a 15-year-old Iowa boy named Brady Olson filed to run for president. Since registering with the Federal Election Commission under a crude pseudonym, Deez Nuts, Olson's joke campaign appears to have spurred an uptick in other less-than-serious presidential filings.
On Wednesday, a Public Policy Polling poll showed Deez Nuts with 9 percent support in North Carolina, resulting in a swarm of media coverage—including some particularly awkward local news segments. On Thursday alone, the FEC posted more than 60 statements of presidential candidacies. Compare that with this Monday and Tuesday combined, when the FEC posted just 12 filings. Or last Thursday, when the commission posted three.
It's incredibly simple to become an "official" presidential candidate. All you have to do is send a Statement of Candidacy, called Form 2, to the FEC office with your name, address, party affiliation, and the office you're seeking. Although this ensures that, at least nominally, it's easy for anyone to run for president, it also makes the FEC an easy target for pranking.
And, as one can tell from some of the more preposterous personal information turned into the FEC lately, none of the information filed by the "candidates" is independently verified by the agency before the filing is posted. If a candidate files Form 2 with "missing or inadequate information," the FEC will send a letter to the candidate. "The letter will request the candidate to submit a new Form 2 within 30 days," according to FEC's official review and referral procedures.