The push to rig the 2012 presidential election is under way.

There’s nothing illegal about it: Across the country, state legislatures are embroiled in partisan battles over election-law changes that, by design or effect, could play a significant role in determining the outcome of the presidency.

So far this year, there’s been legislation aimed at overhauling the awarding of electoral votes, requiring that candidates present a birth certificate, not to mention a wide assortment of other voting rights and administration-related measures that could easily affect enough ballots to deliver a state to one candidate or another.

Experts say the explosion of such efforts in the run-up to 2012 is unprecedented — and can be traced back to a familiar wellspring.

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