Consider this your Public Service Column for the week. First, you need to be aware of the latest telephone scams, brought to you by people who obviously have nothing else to do and like to prey on innocent people.

So, I got a call from the Publisher’s Clearing House. Really? I didn’t even enter. The caller on the other end informed me I had won the second-place prize and that I’d be receiving a Mercedes. 

If I would go to the bank to get a $2,500 check for the taxes, they would be there at 3 p.m. A Mercedes would be nice, but I’m happy with my Honda. Click! 

Two days later I got another call, and I was a winner again. This time they wanted my email address, to which I said “no” and hung up. Normally I don’t answer the phone without checking caller ID, but it wasn’t available on the phone I was using. 

My advice to you is to be careful, use caller ID and don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number and let the calls go to voicemail. People who really want or need to talk to you will know how to get in touch with you. Although it would be nice to win the Publishers Clearing House.

You have probably recently received information about voting by mail. As a longtime trained election judge, honored for my service by the Cook County Clerk’s Office and recently having participated in a forum with the clerk’s office, I recommend voting by mail. 

It is safe, and the number of people voting by mail has increased over the years. On Election Day, polling places received the list of those who have voted early or by mail, thus preventing anyone from trying to vote twice.  

The system originally was meant to accommodate people who would not be available to vote on Election Day, and at one time you needed to state a reason, but now it is available to everyone. Your vote is important and it does count.

You might also consider being an election judge. It is a rewarding job for all ages, particularly for high schoolers who can see democracy in action. 

Information on the November election will be coming out soon. Learn more about becoming an election judge online at 

The county clerk’s office is working hard to make it a safe election for all involved.