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FEC asks Darth Vader and God to show proof of identity

It’s been an eventful presidential campaign so far with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, even without some of the other colorful characters who have apparently stated their intention to challenge the two: Darth Vader, God, Satan and Captain Crunch, among many, many others.

Federal Election Commission filings show that it has received over 1,800 “statement of candidacy” forms from spoof candidates, ranging from the Ghosts of Ronald Reagan to Satan to Deez Nuts. On Wednesday, the government agency, hoping to deter pranksters from filing fake paperwork, addressed separate letters to the suspicious candidates.

Science can help explain why presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump should be nicer to one another. Clinton photo by Reuters/Whitney Curtis; Trump photo by Reuters/Gary Cameron

“Dear Candidate,” the letters read. “It has come to the attention of the Federal Election Commission that you may have failed to include an accurate name of the candidate and an accurate principal campaign committee … when you filed FEC Form 2.”

It’s easy to submit Form 2 statements of candidacy--required paperwork for those seeking office in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate, or the White House in any given election cycle. That accessibility, however, comes at a cost for the officials who have to weed through the hundreds of fake filings.

The FEC letters stated that “knowingly and willfully making any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation to a federal government agency” is punishable under U.S. law.

But even the chairwoman of the FEC, which largely oversees and regulates the flow of money in politics​, admitted to the New York Times that, generally, the “likelihood of the laws being enforced is slim.”

Still, Darth, if you’re reading this, you have 30 days to respond to the FEC or your name will be removed from the pool of eligible presidential candidates.