So, I've been blinded by the glare of sunshine off red, white and blue - and in some instances, black - signs dotting the landscape over the past few weeks. But, at last, the time has finally arrived. Early voting is upon us.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Voting? As if - I have better things to do with my time."

That response always leaves me a little bit curious. What are those things, exactly? I understand most people work for a living, but that excuse is only a temporary one, in my opinion.

After all, most employees get lunch breaks, or get out early from work because either a relative/child/husband/wife is sick or, more often than not, mortally wounded.

But I digress, most people do have the time to take advantage of early voting. It is, after all, designed to provide all the wonders of voting in the smallest, democracy-filled capsule.

Unlike voting on Election Day (which is Nov. 2, by the way), you don't have to stick to your assigned precinct. Granted, it's possible to vote outside your precinct, but that only leads to more paperwork, resulting in a not-so-painless visit to the polls.

Early voting allows you to cast your ballot at any of the available polling locations - all you need is to be registered to vote and have a valid state driver's license or photo I.D.

I won't tell you all who to vote for, but I will take a minute to urge everyone not to stick to a straight party ticket. Do a bit of reading and vote for the best candidate on the ballot, not just the one who thinks wearing a red or blue tie makes them a Republican or Democrat.

Now, go back to the first four paragraphs in this piece I've written. Remember how long it took you to read that part? That's about how long it will take you to vote, maybe less depending on whether or not you completely ignored my advice about the straight party ballot.

With that said, I'd be interested to hear any of your excuses on why you won't be voting.

Really? Well, guess what? Not good enough.