Clay Aiken's Congressional Hopes Go Down To the Wire

(Gerry Broome/AP Photo)

The race between Clay Aiken and textile entrepreneur Keith Crisco is still close too call this morning with the Associated Press reporting the former "American Idol" star is still leading by just 372 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Aiken has 40.8% of the vote to Crisco's 39.5%.

Here are three answers to why the race is still just too tight too determine:

So What Happens Next?

According to Josh Lawson, the public information officer and general spokesperson for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, officials have completed calculating all in person votes as well as the absentee ballots they have received.

The deadline for receiving absentee ballots is this Friday, May 9 th, so as long as they are postmarked by yesterday and received by Friday they will count.

"They will come in by snail mail," Lawson told ABC News.

The Board is also currently counting provisional ballots. These are ballots that were cast Tuesday in person, but were flagged for irregularity so either a person could not find their name on the register or another unusual event. The Board is currently going through those now, counting, and authenticating them.

The board will also update the results and they currently show a two vote tighter race than the Associated Press with Aiken leading Crisco by only 369 votes and the same percentages.

Will There Be A Recount?

The state only mandates a recount if there is less than a one percent spread between the candidates. That is not currently the case, but if that changes and it goes to below a one percent spread then a campaign would still have to request it and then there will be a re-count.

If the vote count stays above a one percent spread there is not mandatory statute in state law requiring a re-count, but if a campaign requests it the 100 individual county election boards, as well as the state board, does have discretionary recount authority.

Lawson stresses this situation is "not a frequent event" and highly unusual.

Will There Be A Run-Off?

No. In the state of North Carolina as long as a candidate has over 40 percent then there will not be a re-count. Currently, Aiken has already passed that 40 percent mark.