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26% Use Cellphones For Political Purposes

December 23, 2010

More than one out of every four adults in the United States used their cell phones to learn about the 2010 mid-term elections, participate in them, or encourage others to get out and vote, the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project says in a new study.

According to the results of the Pew survey, which were released on Thursday, 26% of all American mobile phone owners over the age of 18 used their phones in some election related activity this fall. Of those, 14% of all Americans over the age of 18 used their cell phones to let others know that they had voted.

Four percent monitored election results from their phones, and 6% used their phones to let others know about the delays, low turnout, or other issues at their local voting precinct. Furthermore, 12% used the mobile devices to keep up with election headlines and other political news, 10% sent election-related text messages to their friends or family members.

One percent downloaded and used an app to follow a particular candidate, party or group during the midterms elections, the Pew researchers discovered.

Cell phone owners were also more likely to vote in the election, according to the organization. While 64% of American adults as a whole say that they voted in the election, some 71% of cell phone owners polled by Pew claimed to have punched their ballots in 2010.

“There was no partisan tilt in the makeup of the mobile political user population,” the Pew study reports. “They split their votes equally between Democratic and Republican congressional candidates–44% to each. About 2% said they voted for other candidates and 10% didn’t answer the question or said they didn’t know. Generally, there were few partisan or ideological differences in way this group used their cell phones for politics.”

The study also reported that 82% of adults owned cell phones. Of those individuals, 71% said that they used the devices for sending and receiving text messages, and 39% used them to access the Internet. According to Pew, the survey was conducted, in both English and Spanish, between November 3 and November 24, with 2,257 total subjects being polled via either landline or mobile phone.

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