Spanberger Retains Congressional Seat, NBC News Projects

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Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger has retained her seat representing Virginia's 7th Congressional District, NBC News projects. 

Spanberger had 51% of the vote to Republican Nick Freitas’ 49%. 

Spanberger declared victory on Wednesday night, saying she looked forward to continuing work on strengthening and protecting communities.

News4's Julie Carey reports on criticism that results from absentee and mail-in ballot totals were released so many hours after the polls closed, giving a false impression of how the Commonwealth was voting.

"It is a real horse race," Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson previously told News4. "I believe in the end, [Freitas] will prevail. Nick is a hard and devoted worker."

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he believed when all the mail-in ballots were counted, Spanberger would have an edge.

"I think Abigail's going to win it once all these votes are actually in and are counted, and I feel good about it," McAuliffe said.

Live Election Results

Source: AP

It was nearly midnight on Election Day before a clear picture of the vote totals emerged in Virginia due to an enormous number of absentee ballots that were not added until very late.

McAuliffe says in future elections, the absentee or early votes that have been processed need to be reported as soon as the polls close and then can be updated later.

State election officials say they conduct a review after every election to see what needs improvement.

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