MIAMI -- It's not just the collection plate that's being passed around this fall at hundreds of churches, most of them African-American and Latino.

Urging congregations to register to vote, church leaders are distributing registration cards in the middle of services. Many are pledging caravans of "souls to the polls" to deliver the vote.

The stepped-up effort in many states is a response to worries that new election rules - from tougher photo identification requirements to fewer days of early voting - are targeting minority voters unfairly.

Some leaders compare their registration and get-out-the-vote efforts to the racial struggle that led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Proponents of the new election rules deny they are aimed at suppressing the minority vote.

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