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MIAMI  — It’s not just the collection plate that’s getting passed around this fall at hundreds of mainly African-American and Latino churches in presidential battleground states and across the nation.

Exhorting congregations to register to vote, church leaders are distributing registration cards in the middle of services, and many are pledging caravans of “souls to the polls” to deliver the vote.

The stepped-up effort in many states is a response by activists worried that new election rules, from tougher photo identification requirements to fewer days of early voting, are unfairly targeting minority voters — specifically, African-Americans who tend to vote heavily for Democrats. Some leaders compare their registration and get-out-the-vote efforts to the racial struggle that led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
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