SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – A former state elections chief says the loose ends in the Illinois governor’s race are “really, really important.” Officially, the contest remained too close to call as of Thursday morning.

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Ron Michaelson, former executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections, says every vote needs to be counted. He even called it “premature” for Gov. Pat Quinn to pronounce that everyone realizes it was a Quinn victory, even though Quinn has not made a victory speech.

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Michaelson also confirmed that the final count may not be available for 30 days, once you consider that local elections offices have to certify their locale’s ballots, and then the state board has to certify those results. He remembers the Jim Thompson-Adlai Stevenson III race in 1982, which had a difference of 5,074 votes, that also took about a month before Thompson was officially declared the winner.

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Michaelson points out that military absentee ballots usually lean Republican, although he’s not saying if that would give Republican State Sen. Bill Brady enough of a vote count boost to win.