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Sadly, there's no law preventing political robocalls

With the upcoming 2016 elections, is there a way to get a mandate or law passed to prevent receiving calls from politicians and political organizations? I think they should also be made to adhere to the federal "Do not call list."

— Gary S., Medford

There may be a way, Gary: You would have to get your representatives in Congress and a whole bunch of other congressional members to expand the Do Not Call Registry to include politicians. But it quite likely would be challenged as a free speech violation, so it might not stick anyway.

The National Do Not Call Registry, which became law in 2003, specifically exempts political organizations, nonprofits and pollsters from its limits. There have been some efforts to create a Do Not Call List for politicians, but voluntary efforts have largely been ignored by candidates.

There are a variety of efforts aimed specifically to give consumers the ability to limit "robocalls," those really, really annoying automated calls that can bombard your home phone around election time. (Has it ever occurred to politicians that those calls are a major factor in identifying who not to vote for?) You can join in that effort by going to consumersunion.org/end-robocalls.

One other recommendation is to call candidates' campaign headquarters and asked to be removed from their call lists. Tell them you won't vote for them if they call you again, ever. Then follow up on your threat if they ignore your request.

For more information on the National Do Not Call Registry, see www.donotcall.gov.

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