4% of Mobile Users Used Phones to Monitor Election News, Study Finds

Eighty-two percent of American adults have cell phones, though just 4 percent of adults used their phones to monitor election results during this past midterm election cycle, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

The number of adults with mobile devices has fluctuated between 73 percent in April 2006 and 85 percent in April 2009 and September 2010, according to the survey.

The study found that of the 82 percent of adults with cell phones, 71 percent use their phone for texting, while a much smaller 39 percent use their phones to access the Internet.

The most popular election-related activity on mobile devices? Telling others they had voted, which 14 percent of respondents with phones said they did.

Interestingly, just 10 percent of respondents used their phones to inform others about voting conditions, delays, long lines and voter turnout at their polling place.

News organizations which attempted to crowdsource voting problems — The Washington Post’s vote monitor a notable example — seemed to get relatively small responses. This study provides hard numbers as to why there was such low response.

A total of 2,257 adults participated in the survey, which was conducted between Nov. 3 and Nov. 24 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.