Local Anesthesia: “Election conspiracy theorists … are running for Congress, governor and secretary of state positions that oversee elections in state after state around the country. But an unknown number also are running for one of the 10,000 positions nationwide that administer local elections and oversee the people who actually hand out ballots, tally votes and report results.” As bad as you already think the problem is, it’s worse. Conspiracy pushers target races for local election posts. And of course, there’s a special American twist to the story. Armed Vigilantes Are ‘Monitoring’ Ballot Drop Boxes in Arizona Now.

+ Brazilian Cracks: “In speeches, interviews and hundreds of posts on social media, the president has consistently and methodically repeated those baseless claims and many others about Brazil’s voting system. The result has been a yearslong campaign that has undermined millions of Brazilians’ faith in the elections that underpin one of the world’s largest democracies.” NYT: How Bolsonaro Built the Myth of Stolen Elections in Brazil. Of course, this story sounds familiar to Americans. And the relentless attacks on voting in some of the world’s major democracies is a big deal and a dream come true for authoritarians.

+ Character Building: “The creation of the proto­type is an unconscious and intuitive process. There’s no choice involved, really. I have to do it like this, or my characters will turn out unnatural and dead. That’s why, in the beginning stage of the process, I leave everything up to the Automatic Dwarfs.” Haruki Murakami in The Atlantic: Where My Characters Come From. (I wish I could write fiction. No matter where my characters come from, they always end up being me.)

+ Turning the Tables: “Nearly half the total units accumulated during those first three days came in… vinyl sales.” Taylor Swift‘s ‘Midnights’ Is First Album in Five Years to Move a Million Units in a Week… and She Did It in Three Days.