Americans Used Phones for Mid-Term Election Updates

Nearly 90 percent of Americans age 18 to 29 years old said they owned a cell phone in 2007. (Image credit: Stock.xchng.)

Mobile connectivity has become a growing feature in all kinds of communication and information exchanges — including politics. According to a report from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life, about 14 percent of all American adults used their cell phones to tell others that they had voted during recent elections.

Mobile phones also played a key role in helping adults learn about or participate in the 2010 mid-term election campaign. About 26 percent used their cell phones to do so.

To break it down, about 12 percent used their cell phones to keep up with news about the election or politics, and 10 percent sent text messages to friends and family discussing the events.

To get the word out about local voting stations on election day -- from insights about delays and long lines to low turnouts and other issues, 6 percent of adults took to their cell phones. About 4 percent used them to monitor the election results.

In most cases, those ages 18-29 were more likely than those that are older to use their cell phones for getting and sharing political information. The mobile political user group is also more male than female, the study found.

The demographic also steers more toward the well-educated and financially well-off. African-Americans are also more likely than whites or Hispanics to be in this group.

Those who used their cell phones for political purposes also tend to be more high-tech when it comes to Internet use. For example, about 92 percent of the group use broadband at home; 66 percent own iPods or other MP3 players; and 10 percent own iPads or other tablet computers.

They are also heavy users of all other functions on their cell phones, such as getting email, sending texts and instant messages and accessing the Internet.

Samantha Murphy
Samantha Murphy was a contributor to Live Science, covering the tech industry. She holds a degree in journalism and cinema studies from New York University.