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How are voters using cell phones this election season?

by: Amy Gahran |

This election season many campaigns and political interest groups are offering mobile apps, text alerts, and other mobile services to educate, motivate, and persuade voters. Too bad most cell-phone owning voters aren't very interested in mobile political direct outreach efforts, according to a new Pew report.

In its Mobile Politics report released today, Pew found that 88% of registered U.S. voters own a cell phone, nearly half of which are smartphones.

In general, text messaging is the most popular non-voice mobile activity. But this year only 19% of mobile-enabled registered voters have sent campaign-related text messages to people they know, and only 5% signed up to get text messages directly from campaigns or other group involved in this election.

Also, even though 45% of mobile-enabled voters use smartphone apps, only 8% use apps supplied by a campaign, party or other interest group.

Voters' most popular election-related mobile activities are reading others' political or election-related social media comments, and getting campaign or political news. Also, over a third of smartphone-owning voters have used their phone to check on the spot whether something they just heard from, or about, a candidate or the election was true.

For this report Pew surveyed over 1000 U.S. adults in September.

Read the full report here ยป

Amy Gahran

Amy Gahran is a journalist, editor, trainer, entrepreneur, strategist, and media consultant based in Boulder, Colorado. In addition to writing
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