30-year-old Chelsea Manning has just been officially added to the ballot of the United States Senate race in Maryland, much to the GOP’s chagrin. Manning is a former Army private who was imprisoned after sharing classified government information with WikiLeaks. As a famous whistleblower, she was hoping to give the public access to government information that was covering up horrible dealings. While the announcement had been made that Manning was planning to run for the Senate, on Wednesday, she got her name on the ballot. And she shared an image of her filing the official paperwork.
Her post has been liked tens of thousands of times.
Although the deadline to be added to the ballot for the Democratic primary is still a few weeks away, Manning was quick to act and got her name on the ballot. She joins four other Democrats who plan to face off against incumbent Senator Ben Cardin. He is the highest ranking party member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and should prove to be an apt opponent.
Manning released her official statement to run for Senate in a video clip that was posted on Sunday.
“We don’t need more, or better leaders,” Manning says in the clip. “We need someone willing to fight. We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won’t support us. They won’t compromise.”
After serving seven years in prison for leaking the classified documents, Manning’s sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama back in January of 2017. She was released from imprisonment during President Trump’s term in May 2017. Since then Chelsea Manning has been a force to be reckoned with and has put some GOP lawmakers against the ropes. They are terrified that she is running for office in Maryland. While it has yet to be seen whether the people of Maryland will want Manning representing them in the Senate, the whistleblower thinks she has a very good chance at winning.
One of Manning’s top concerns is increasing the ability for Americans to vote. Some Republican-run states put measures in place to block certain populations (usually blacks and other minorities who historically vote Democrat) from casting their votes.
In a 2016 article published in The Guardian, Manning wrote: “Even when the incarcerated leave prison, they often return to our communities without the ability to vote. That means the people most affected by our political institutions and processes today often have absolutely no say in how they are run. This group includes me. In Maryland, my state of residence, for instance, I will not be able to vote until the year 2045.”
Manning is urging every American to register to vote and get to the polls if they can. And if you’re unhappy with the way things are going in the government since Trump took office, then you need to take action. Volunteer to get other people to vote in your community or in contested communities around the country.
Voting is your constitutional right. You can help influence the state of the country and our future. When the polls open, make sure you cast your vote.