By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Congregations across the area are turning up the “Get Out The Vote” effort beginning Friday night.

Their goal is to get as many souls to the polls as possible.

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“We believe voting is a spiritual issue,” says Reverend Gregory Holston.

He works with POWER- a coalition of 60 interfaith congregations representing about 50,000 people across Philadelphia.

Holston says they’re encouraging faith leaders to discuss voting on the pulpit and get members to phone bank, canvass and door-knock to mobilize voters:

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“We’re encouraging our congregations to use their vans and any other means they have to get people to the polls.”

Black churches are also empowering voters, hoping to defend against anticipated voter intimidation.

Reverend Allyn Waller — pastor of Enon Tabernacle Church — says they’ll have men stationed at the polls to ensure a smooth experience:

“We’re there to make sure that people stay in line and make sure people don’t have a problem getting to where they need to go. If it’s raining on Tuesday, we’ll have umbrellas to walk ladies from their car to the line.”

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A strong turnout of Philadelphia’s Black vote is considered key to a Democratic win in Pennsylvania.