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Federal election official says funding critical if voter ID law passed

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EAC Chairman Paul DeGregario (KWMU photo/Tom Weber)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kwmu/local-kwmu-530953.mp3

St. Louis, MO. – One of the nation's top election officials says funding is crucial to the national voter ID law that passed the U.S. House Wednesday.

St. Louis native Paul DeGregario heads the Election Assistance Commission, which Congress created after the 2000 election.

He says his job doesn't really let him voice an opinion on whether a national voter ID law is a good idea.

The Commission would have to implement it.

The proposal currently requires the government to pay for IDs for those who need one, which Degregario hopes stays in the bill if it goes any farther.

"So I think it's important whenever they look at legislation at the federal level an impose mandates on the states that they make sure there are funds there to take care of the issue," Degregario said.

All Republican Congressmen from the St. Louis area voted for the national ID law Wednesday. All area Democrats voted no.

Before that national vote, the issue had largely been decided state-by-state.

INTERVIEW WITH DeGREGARIO

The St. Louis native, whose family still lives in the Hill neighborhood, is winding up his time at the EAC.

His term is up and he'll leave the Commission when his replacement gets Senate confirmation. On Thursday, he met one last goal in bringing the panel to St. Louis for a meeting.

It was there that DeGregario told KWMUs Tom Weber of some of the Commission's work in the past three years.

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