I am having nightmares of hidden registrars. I am at the urinal in downstairs Girvetz; they ambush me with a reminder of the Oct. 22 registration deadline. Other times, I am in line for Subway, and after the sandwich artist asks “Cheese?” she asks “Are you registered to vote?” Sometimes, I’m receiving an obscene phone call and the pervert begins, “What are you wearing and were you wearing it when you registered to vote at your current address?” I am very happy the registration deadline has come and gone and that the unregistered will have to be unregistered when the election comes around on Nov. 6, because otherwise I may have suffered a nervous breakdown.

Before I present the full scope of my attack on the student-registrars who have been a robust presence on and around our campus for the bulk of a month, I need to preface this: I admire them. I think their cause is worthy, and I am absolutely impressed with the amount of time and gusto they have put into it. I would like to see every eligible voter at the polls, and I applaud the volunteers who believe strongly enough in that dream to work at it for hours on end.

However, the voter registration effort to which I have been witness to has bordered on privacy invasion. Personally, I’ve been registered since early last year, and when I moved this summer, I immediately registered again at my current address. Now, I know that I do not represent the campus community, its thousands of students, but I do think my registration should some how protect me from repeated, uncomfortable interrogations concerning my registration status. I think being detained on the question of voter registration four times on one trip through The Arbor is a kind of punishment, but I do not think that having class in Girvetz is a crime.

Believe it or not, there is a precedent for this sort of thing in the wider world of American law. Telemarketing, a similar principle, came under fire near the beginning of the new millennium and was being interpreted broadly, equated with unlawful search. A number of similarly themed court cases prompted congress to enact the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act on March 11, 2003. After an immediate judicial challenge from commercial interests and a subsequent upholding of the law in a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, the National Do-Not-Call Registry now holds 72 percent of the American population and probably would hold more if not for ignorance of its existence.

I sojourn, briefly, into the history of American law, because it makes abundantly clear the disdain most people have for strangers’ solicitations. I am not, by any means, trying to suggest that the Campus Democrats are telemarketing or doing anything illegal. In fact, political organizations are an explicit exception to the Do-Not-Call Registry, as are nonprofits. I’m not making a case against them in terms of rules or laws, just courtesies. I encourage them, when the next election nears, to continue their efforts for student registration, but to let the interested come to them. No one wants to be bullied into voting (the most important feature of P. Diddy’s “Vote or Die!” campaign was that it lasted only one election cycle). I also have faith that the vast majority of Gauchos recognize the imperative in voting, the privilege it represents, and will — if our registrars make the opportunity known — seek out the means.

Benjamin Moss is a third-year English major.