Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) declared victory Wednesday night over Republican challenger and state Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, after further early voting counts gave her a 5,132-vote lead.
Spanberger took the lead after Spotsylvania County reported its final absentee ballots and Henrico County tallied additional absentee votes, which officials overlooked because the ballots had been saved on a mislabeled flash drive, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP).
The Lynchburg Republican Party lost in its lawsuit against the Lynchburg Registrar’s Office over ballot counting practices in this election. The two went to trial on Monday.
The lawsuit alleged that the registrar had failed one day to process absentee ballots with a Republican representative present, and had also failed to notify Republican representatives of preprocessing last Friday. The judge ruled in favor of the Lynchburg Registrar’s Office in under several hours.
As November 3rd draws closer, general registrars and their staff in central Virginia are working extremely hard to get as many ballots counted as possible on election night, even though the results will not be official until Friday of that week.
On Monday, The Virginia Star spoke with registrars from Henrico, Hanover, New Kent and Goochland counties, and discussed the timing of ballot counts.
The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) and the Lynchburg Republican City Committee are accusing the Lynchburg Registrar’s Office of violating election laws by counting absentee ballots without Republicans present. Individuals who previously registered as Democrats for years assisted in counting ballots, this time registered as “non-party affiliation.”
65 of the “non-party affiliation” individuals were Democrats last year.