Mobile devices are becoming an increasingly \n\nimportant channel for voters to seek out information about the political candidates and campaigns ahead of next month's presidential election, a \n\nnew survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports.\n\nAccording to Pew's findings, 88 percent of registered voters have some kind of cell phone, and, of those, 27 percent say that they have \n\nused their mobile device to seek out news of politics or the campaign. More on the 2012 Election:\nWhat Tech Issues Loom Large for Election 2012?\nObama and Romney Election Apps Suck Up Personal Data, Research Finds Tech Policy 2012: Comparing the Democrat's and Republican's PlatformsJust slightly less than half of mobile phone owners said they have a smartphone, at 48 percent, and, of those, 45 percent say they had used \n\ntheir device to check into a social networking site to read other users' comments about the campaign or a candidate. Eighteen percent say that \n\nthey had used their smartphones to post comments about the campaign on a social networking site.Just slightly less than half of mobile phone owners said they have a smartphone, at 48 percent, and, of those, 45 percent say they had used \n\ntheir device to check into a social networking site to read other users' comments about the campaign or a candidate. Eighteen percent say that \n\nthey had used their smartphones to post comments about the campaign on a social networking site.Many voters are also using their smartphones to fact-check the claims of candidates or members of their campaigns. Among smartphone \n\nowners, 35 percent said they used their devices to investigate the campaigns' assertions in real time.Three-quarters of voters with mobile phones say that they use their devices to send text messages, and 19 percent report having sent \n\nmessages concerning the campaign to family members, friends or other contacts. The numbers dropped considerably when Pew asked the survey respondents about their direct engagement with players in the campaign. \n\nOnly 5 percent said they had registered with a candidate or politically active group to receive messages directly from the operation, while an \n\nequal proportion reported receiving unsolicited and unwanted messages from a candidate or group. For most respondents, the unwanted \n\nmessages only arrived very infrequently.And of the respondents who report owning a smartphone and using apps, just 8 percent said that they had downloaded and used an app \n\nfrom a candidate, party or interest group to keep up with the campaign.When the researchers considered the usage patterns of voters across the political spectrum, they found few significant differences."There are few differences in overall mobile phone ownership and usage related to political affiliation or ideology. Democratic, Republican \n\nand independent voters are all equally likely to own a cell phone, to own a smartphone, to use text messaging, and to use or download apps," \n\nwrite Aaron Smith and Maeve Duggan, the authors of the report. "However, liberal voters are more likely than conservatives to own a \n\nsmartphone or to use text messaging (although liberals and conservatives are equally likely to own a cell phone of any kind)."Kenneth Corbin is a Washington, D.C.-based writer who covers government and regulatory issues for CIO.com. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and \n\non Google +.