GREEN BAY — Remember all those annoying robocalls during election season? So does one Green Bay lawmaker, who wants the calls banned.
Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen says he’s drafting legislation to ban political robocalls in Wisconsin. He said he wants to end nuisance calls that he said don’t make a difference in changing voters’ minds.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that political robocalls aren’t restricted under state and national Do Not Call registries the way telemarketing calls are. So even if you request that your name be removed from a political call list, campaigns aren’t required to comply.
I don’t think this would pass constitutional muster if it’s challenged, but it’s also just a bad idea. In order for the electorate to be informed about candidates, someobody has to put that information out there. The news media serves their role. So do the candidates themselves and other people. The only justification to ban robocalls is that they can be annoying. Well… so can campaign commercials… and billboars… and rallies… and yard signs… If we can justify banning robocalls because they are annoying, shall we continue down that road?
For those who will say that robocalls are different because it is coming into a person’s home, that’s hogwash. The same is true of television commercials, for example. And the citizen has the same choice to turn off the TV, change the channel, don’t answer the phone, or generally act like an adult and manage your life.