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By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s photo voter identification law may stand up better to legal challenges because the state has made plans to provide free identifications in many locations, the secretary of state says.

Republican Delbert Hosemann told lawmakers Wednesday that he expects the U.S. Justice Department to reject Mississippi’s law after it reviews it under the Voting Rights Act.

Jan Schaefer, Attorney General Jim Hood’s spokeswoman, says Hood expects a response from federal officials in October.

Hosemann and Hood have already agreed to hire an outside lawyer to take the case into court after a rejection. Schaefer says Hood is reviewing a request to hire lawyers from Ridgeland-based Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens and Cannada PLLC.

Lawmakers tucked $395,000 in lawyer fees and $200,000 in expert witness fees into Hosemann’s current budget.

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