2023 victories: voting rights and the Civil Liberties Beehive
As we look back at 2023, we’re celebrating the local organizing work to advance voting rights at the county level through our Civil Liberties Beehive. Here are some of the highlights:
In Johnson County, Beehive Leaders were active in contacting Election Commissioner Fred Sherman and county commissioners, advocating for a vote from jail program and expanded language access. Commissioner Sherman met with leaders and was supportive of both policies.
The Sedgwick County Beehive wanted to increase access to voting by mailing advanced ballot applications to every voter after long lines and major delays in the 2022 election. They worked with Election Commissioner Laura Rainwater, and while we haven’t yet won advanced ballot applications, we did win expanded access--securing 30 additional voting locations for 2024.
In Wyandotte County, Beehive leaders worked to expand language access for voting materials. When Election Commissioner Michael Abbott declined to meet on the issue, they organized to get over 100 community members to email the commissioner. In November, Commissioner Abbott had a meeting with community leaders, where they learned the election office has started providing Spanish information on their website and hired bilingual poll workers. This win, and the other steps we’ve made to make voting easier across the state show us that organizing works.
Thank you to all the beehive leaders who made these wins possible. And if you want to get involved in making change in your community, join us for our next New Beehive Leader Orientation on January 9 at 6PM on Zoom.