Polls are open. Turned away? Here’s what to do.

Polls in Tompkins County and most of the rest of New York State opened at 12 noon, and are open until 9pm. If you go to your polling place and you’re told you’re not eligible to vote, there are a couple of things you can do.

First, make sure you’re in the right place. Check your polling place here. Under New York State’s primary election rules, only voters registered by last October 9 (or as totally new voters as of last month) as members of the Democratic or Republican parties can vote today.

The New York State Attorney General’s Office has a hotline you can call for assistance. The hotline is 1-800-771-7755, and it debuted for the November 2012 election. Attorneys and Civil Rights Bureau staff are monitoring the phones.

You can also ask (nicely!) for the polling place staff to give you an affidavit ballot or provisional ballot, if you’re sure you’re eligible and they tell you you’re not. That way, your vote is on hand and can be counted later.

There is a court case being considered today that might allow independent voters to vote, but a ruling hasn’t been issued yet. A hearing is scheduled for 2pm.

Election Justice USA, which filed the lawsuit being considered, says “Voters who sign affidavits claiming that they are Democrats when, in fact, they never have been or don’t actually believe they are Democrats would, legally, be committing voter fraud. This is one of the rare uses of that term that is accurately voter fraud. Don’t claim you’re a Democrat if there’s no reason to believe you ever were or are one. Leave that section blank.”

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