Majority of smartphone/tablet owners would vote online

Steven Loeb · September 19, 2012 · Short URL:

Survey finds that 60% say that they would vote via text message or app

Every election cycle, campaigns become more and more savvy in terms of how to use technology to reach more voters, and how to make more money off of them.

This year, both candidates have released their own apps to make it that much easier for people to donate money to their campaigns. In addition, both campaigns are increasingly using social media, with a report released by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in August finding that the Obama campaign published 614 social media posts in two weeks, while Romney posted 168.

Just last month, Barack Obama held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, resulting in soaring page views that crashed the site. People want access to these people, and social media gives it to them.

So, on the one hand you have the increasing reliance by candidates on the web to get elected. On the other you have the general laziness of the American people. Mix those two ingredients together, and can it be all that surprising that most people would like to simply skip the voting booth altogether and pick their preferred candidate online?

According to a survey conducted by Internet radio provider Stitcher, 60% of smartphone and tablet owners would vote through an app or text message if they could.

The results, released Wednesday, show that there is not much a difference between gender when it comes to wanting to vote without having to get out of bed, with 49% of men approving of the idea, compared to 47% of women. Not even political affiliation could divide people on this issue. 54% of Democrats were in favor, while that number was 47% for Republicans. It seems that, if there is anything that can bring Democrats and Republicans together, it is laziness.

(I only partially kid about people who want to do this being lazy.)

"While we expected people would be using mobile devices more this election cycle, the fact that mobile is already eclipsing more traditional outlets as a primary way to follow the candidates and election news is surprising," Noah Shanok, CEO of Stitcher, said in a statement.

"People clearly want their information on the go and apps like Stitcher are making it easy to stay current with the most important election news. While 2008 may have been the year of social media, this is certainly the year of the app."

There are some obvious benefits to voting via a smartphone or tablet; most obviously not having to take time out of your day to stand in line in the cold for hours after work. Of course, there are major drawbacks as well. There has been a big debate raging in this country over whether or not voter fraud is a problem that needs to be addressed. If people start having the ability to vote without having to even show up, then it absolutely has the potential to get out of hand.

2,129 adults, aged 18 and older, of whom 1,024 are owners of a smartphone or tablet, took part in the survey.

Other survey results

The survey also found that of those that use a smartphone and/or tablet, 41% said that they are getting more information about this election cycle from apps, browsing, blogs and social media than they did four years ago. Of those people getting more information this way, 49% are ages 18 to 36, 35% are 55 or older, and 40% are college graduates.

Of the smartphone/tablet owners, 38% of Democrats get most of their information about the campaigns from their mobile device, compared to only 25% of Republicans.

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