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“If you can’t get the best result, maybe you can get a good result.”

Secretary William Galvin and Right Reverend Gayle Harris take a break from a lantern lighting ceremony at Old North Church last week. Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin believes President Joe Biden should have a back-up plan for his voting rights program.

In a speech Tuesday, Biden urged the Senate to change its rules of procedure in order to advance federal voting rights legislation, intended to reverse a recent wave of voting restrictions enacted in Republican states, as well as to ban partisan gerrymandering.

Galvin, a fellow Democrat, applauds Biden’s efforts. But it also offers an alternative option in case the main path fails.

“In my opinion, Plan B is to extend to people the right to vote by mail in the United States just as foreign students have it,” Galvin told WCVB on Tuesday. “If you can’t get the best result, maybe you can get a good result.”

According to WCVB, the Brighton Democrat said he believed the expansion of postal voting – which he also advocated in Massachusetts – could potentially garner support from Republicans, even within the divided and polarized Senate. equal, where modern obstruction requires 60 votes to pass the vast majority of laws. (It’s not clear whether a federal expansion of postal voting would actually gain GOP support, given how the party has worked to tighten the rules on popular measurement over the past year.)

Galvin suggested he supported Biden’s push to change Senate obstruction rules to allow voting bills with a 50-vote majority. However, at least two Senate Democrats opposed the move, blocking the change for now.

“Give a speech, that’s awesome,” Galvin told WCVB. “But at some point you have to match reality with what it is and not just engage in rhetoric.”


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