04/11/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard Still Close; Brady's Lead Holding, Dillard Could Push For Recount

Absentee ballots are trickling in by the dozens in the Republican primary for governor, and Bill Brady still clings to a 400-vote margin over opponent Kirk Dillard.

Most counties in Illinois will hang on to absentee and provisional ballots until February 16. According to the Sun-Times, Lake County is sitting on 302 Republican ballots, and DuPage has roughly 175, based on estimates of how many provisional ballots get approved.

Cook County, which tallies late votes as they come in, posted a new batch last Friday. 62 of those ballots went for Dillard, while only 20 went to Brady.

This brought Dillard 42 votes closer to his opponent. But with even the most populous counties only having two or three hundred uncounted votes, closing the 400-vote margin would require landslide wins in the still-outstanding ballots.

After all the ballots are in and counted, Dillard will still have the option to call for a recount. This won't be a walk in the park, though, as NBC Chicago reports: not only will Dillard have to pay for it himself, he'll also have to "prove fraud or tampering with the vote."

Dillard reiterated the stance he's taken since Election Day to the Southwest News-Herald Monday: "In a race this close, it's important that every vote count."