Channel Your Election-Induced Anxiety Into Action With These To-Do Items

You can help make sure every vote is counted.

a young beautiful woman works at her laptop in a modern office space
(Image credit: Diane Durongpisitkul)

If you’re experiencing massive anxiety waiting for the results of the United States Presidential Election, you’re definitely not alone. The entire country is at a standstill as results roll in slowly and as predicted, it’s not without complications. AP has not yet called the race and there are still a high amount of mail-in ballots in swing states that need to be counted. If you’ve been following coverage of the race, you’ve likely seen reports of ballots not being talliedUSPS blowing their deadline to deliver ballots, and Trump’s false assertions that he’s won the race.

First things first: breathe. The presidential race is extremely close and experts are recommending not reacting until we know the final results for sure. Secondly, you can distract yourself with actions that have impact right nowCosmopolitan put together a list of five action items that you can take (from the comforts of your home) to actually make a difference.

This year, we learned just how important mutual aid and grassroots organizations can be. If you feel passionate about specific issues (LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive rights, etc), consider donating to a local organization that supports your cause. For example, if you’re worried for the future of reproductive rights thanks to new state-wide leadership, you can find abortion funds in your state here.

Call Your Representatives and Demand a Full Ballot Count

One of the biggest stress inducers is the amount of unaccounted ballots. Trump, being Trump, is stoking fires by making baseless claims of fraud (which we knew he was going to do). His administration has been working hard to suppress voters in key states and the fight to ensure a fair democracy is still ongoing. Despite what Trump claims, a mail-in vote is still a vote. Call your representatives and demand that every ballot, mailed or otherwise, be counted for.

Sign Up to Cure Ballots

Due to the amount of mail-in ballots this election cycle, many states are overwhelmed. Your state could technically turn away a ballot for minor mistakes like missing or mismatched signatures, but what is lesser known is that voters can reassess their ballot in time for it still to count. Ballot curing means “fixing” a ballot and there are a number of organizations needing volunteers to help the process. Common Cause, for example, is an organization calling voters in key states, where even the tiniest margins could make all the difference.

Check In On Your Friends

This election season has been undeniably hard on everyone, particularly for those who are marginalized in America. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, many of us were unable to gather with our friends and family for support. But it’s still important to check in on your loved ones, especially if they’re feeling isolated. A simple text saying “I know this has been hard on you, what can I do for you?” can genuinely go a long way in making someone feel seen and heard.

Triple Check Your Own Ballot Status

If you voted by mail, you can track your ballot by going on your county’s website and searching for your ballot status. As previously mentioned, there’s been a wave of ballots that are being discounted due to minor mistakes like missing or mismatched signatures. If that is the case, you can verify your identity (protocol differs state by state, so check out your state's Board of Elections' website) so your ballot will still be counted. Another tip: If you have questions about this, call your Board of Elections and request to talk to a Supervisor of Elections. You’ve heard this before, but your vote is essential and it is your constitutional right to have a say in the future of this country.

Sara Li

Sara Li is Cosmopolitan's politics contributor.  You can reach her on TwitterInstagram, and see other clips of her work on her website.