The term "final but unofficial results" has taken on special meaning for two opponents in Tuesday's vote for Washington County commissioner.
Democrat and incumbent commissioner Cora Marshall received 13,448 votes from the county's precincts. Her opponent Ron Feathers' vote count was 13,769.
For Marshall, the race remains too close to call, since there are still 742 provisional votes and 480 absentee votes in Washington County to be counted.
"The official (count of provisional votes) will be held Nov. 19," reported Peggy Byers, deputy director and trainer for the Washington County Board of Elections.
Absentee votes postmarked Nov. 5 have 10 days to be received, she added.
"There's still hope," said Marshall. "Every vote is important, and we'll know on Nov. 19 what the final outcome is."
At a glance
Final but unofficial results
Washington County Commissioners
Ron Feathers: 13,769.
Cora Marshall: 13,448.
David White: 15,540.
Peg Littler: 11,673.
Feathers seemed assured of that outcome, saying he thought his campaign "gave out a message that resonated with voters."
He has already made plans for when he assumes his seat as county commissioner.
"I want to make sure that we're extremely fiscally responsible with people's money," Feathers said.
"We'll need to look at funding of the infrastructure in the townships," he added. "And there will be challenges with the defeat of the Washington County Children Services levy."
In the second race for Washington County commissioner, Republican David White defeated Democratic opponent Peg Littler, 15,540 to 11,673 votes.
"I think the campaign went very, very well," said White.
He also gave kudos to his supporters.
"They're the best. The support that I got was unbelievable, financial, going door to door and walking the parades," he added.
Before he starts his position, White said he has more work to do.
"I will go to sit in on the (county's) budget process," he said.
"It will help me hit the ground running," he added. "The budgets are what we have to work with next calendar year."
Campaigning was a positive experience for Littler, she said.
"I learned a lot. I met a lot of wonderful people...and it was an enjoyable and enlightening experience," she said.
Before heading in to vote at his precinct at the Washington County Fairgrounds, Mike Offenberger of Marietta talked about the lack of negative campaign ads from all four county commissioner candidates.
"I thought their ads were pretty to the point," he said. "They didn't really throw a lot of trash at each other."
The negativity of national political ads was a turnoff for Littler, and she said she refused to engage in it at the local level.
"I am so disheartened by the negative mud slinging at the national level," she said.
Marshall intentionally kept her campaigning positive, she said.
"I kept it focused on what I've done in the last four years," said Marshall. "I let my record speak for itself."