Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE on Tuesday comforted an independent voter who can't cast a ballot in New York's Democratic primary.

“Right now I’m doing everything I can to get my vote casted for him,” the man told ABC News upon encountering the Vermont senator in New York City’s Times Square. "I can sign a court order, an affidavit, whatever I need to do, and I’m going to do that. But it shouldn’t be this hard to vote.”

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Sanders then patted his supporter’s shoulder before agreeing that the Empire State’s primary rules are shutting out voters.

“Today, 3 million people in the state of New York who are independents have lost their right to vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries,” he said. "That’s wrong.

“You’re paying for this election; it’s administered by the state, [and] you have a right to vote,” Sanders told his supporter. "That’s a very unfortunate thing that I hope will change in the future.”

The New York Times on Tuesday identified Sanders’s supporter as Michael Cantalupo, a 21-year-old independent who tried to register as a Democrat.

New York only allows registered Democrats to vote in its primary. That shuts out independents, who have boosted Sanders in states around the country.

Cantalupo said he first attempted to change his party affiliation last May but that the Department of Motor Vehicles lost his paperwork. He then tried again in December, but that effort was past New York’s October deadline for voting eligibility in its Democratic primary.

Sanders trails Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE by approximately 12 points in New York, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls. Her lead is much more narrow nationwide, with Sanders trailing the former secretary of State by just over 1 point.