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Virginia Democrat Spanberger surges ahead after 'overlooked' ballots found on flash drive: Report

Flash drive had allegedly been marked as "provisional ballots."

Updated: November 5, 2020 - 12:21pm

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Virginia Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger has now surged ahead in her tight race with a Democratic challenger after officials reportedly discovered thousands of "overlooked" ballots on a flash drive. 

Spanberger, is a former CIA official who was part of the 2018 Blue Wave that gave Democrats control of the House. Her victory ended the GOP's stronghold on the state's 7th congressional district seat. Her challenger this year is Republican Nick Freitas. 

The election-watch group Virginia Public Access Project tweeted late Wednesday afternoon that Spanberger was down by about 1,350 votes following a canvassing effort by county officials. 

Less than an hour later, however, VPAP reported she had jumped considerably ahead of Freitas, in part the result of an infusion of over 14,600 previously "overlooked" ballots found on an Henric County county flash drive. 

The memory stick had been "mislabeled as 'provisional ballots'," the group said. 

Calls to VPAP and to the Henrico County registrar were not immediately returned on Thursday morning. 

As of Thursday morning, Spanberger was leading Freitas by about 1.14% in the returns, according to VPAP