Michigan loses seat in Congress, electoral college vote after 2020 census

Michigan will have one less vote for President and one less vote in Congress starting in 2023 after the 2020 Census data has shown the state's population continues to lag.

U.S. Census Bureau on Monday released the first set of numbers used in determining how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state receives. Michigan was one of seven states that lost a vote due to population shifts.

Michigan currently has 14 congressional seats but will soon have 13 and lose a vote in Congress. Additionally, Michigan will go from 16 votes in the Electoral College to 15 votes.

The other states are California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. 

Meanwhile, Texas is picking up two new seats while Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon all picked up one seat each.

The 435 seats in the House of Representatives are divided among the states based on population. As growing states get more congressional seats because of population gains, that means fewer seats for states that lost population or didn’t grow as fast. 

Michigan was one of the states that is not growing as fast as others with a population of just over 10 million.

Additionally, the number of Electoral College votes each state has is also tied to its census numbers. 

The lagging population growth since 2010 has continued a decades-long trend as job-seekers and retirees move to other states.

Michigan's population grew for decades, from 7.8 million in 1960 to more than 9.9 million in 2000. It recorded a slight decline in the census 10 years ago, to 9.8 million. Over time, its congressional seats have been peeled off little by little by faster-growing states, mostly in the Sunbelt.

"Those congressional districts are equal to political power in Washington," said Timothy Bledsoe, professor of political science at Wayne State University in Detroit. "When it leaves Michigan and goes to Texas, it is a reflection of the loss of political power in Michigan and gain of political power that goes to Texas."

Dropping from 14 House seats to 13 also will mean the boundaries of some districts will have to change. But the job of drawing those districts will no longer be in the hands of the Legislature, which is controlled by Republicans.

In 2018, voters approved a constitutional amendment that shifts redistricting to a 13-member commission with four Republicans, four Democrats and five independents selected at random among applicants. It was a bid to stop partisan gerrymandering.

Due to the delay in community and demographic data from the Census Bureau, Michigan's redistricting commission has asked the state Supreme Court to push back the Nov. 1 deadline to finalize the maps.

The losses in congressional seats could affect Detroit, which shares the 14th and 13th Congressional Districts with some of its suburbs. Those districts, when redrawn, may have to extend further out.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.