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Record amount of campaign cash overwhelms election commission

A record amount of money has been spent in this election, some $4 billion.

Today, in a message on its website, the Federal Election Commission, the agency responsible for reporting campaign finance data, acknowledged being “overwhelmed” by the amount of pages coming in from campaigns.

“Unusually large paper reports filed by U.S. Senate candidates in the third quarter of the current cycle have overwhelmed our processing capacity, slowing public disclosure of those reports,” the FEC wrote in a message on its Candidate and Committee Viewer page. “Total page numbers far exceed all previous election cycles, and the Senate Public Records Office is continuing to process and forward additional campaign reports to the Commission. We regret the delay and are taking urgent action to publish copies of all Senate reports as quickly as possible.”

Political parties and their campaign committees faced a Thursday deadline — their last before Election Day — to disclose how much cash each raised last month and how much they had on hand for the final push toward Nov. 4.

At stake: control of the Senate, the size of the Republicans’ majority in the House and the political tone in Washington for the last two years of President Barack Obama’s time in the White House. Cash was coming from all quarters — so much, in fact, that the Federal Election Commission website was struggling to keep up.