Strategic Annexation under the Voting Rights Act: Racial Dimensions of Annexation Practices Academic Article uri icon


  • In July 2006, President Bush signed the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, following heated congressional debates concerning the relevance and efficacy of the Act. Given the reauthorization, with few revisions, of the Acts preexisting provisions, we examine in this article whether its provisions have been effective in curtailing discriminatory voting rights practices. Specifically, we consider whether cities are able to circumvent the intent of the Act and engage in annexation practices that produce undesirable consequences for minority voting rights. We then employ empirical analyses to assess whether there is evidence that minority vote dilution is, in fact, occurring as a consequence of annexations. We examine whether the minority population is reduced, in the long term, as a consequence of annexation. In addition, we examine whether the racial and ethnic composition of land parcels appear to affect the odds of annexation. Our findings provide mixed evidence concerning the efficacy of the current provisions of the Voting Rights Act in discouraging annexations that are likely to dilute minority voting.

published proceedings

  • Harvard blackletter law journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Baumle, A. K., Fossett, M., & Waren, W.

complete list of authors

  • Baumle, AK||Fossett, M||Waren, Warren

publication date

  • January 2008