Legislator Rachel Barnhart Introducing “Candidate Disclosure Act” 

Aimed at preventing a George Santos-like candidate from duping Monroe County voters

(March 30, 2023) – Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart (D-21) is introducing the “Candidate Disclosure Act” to protect voters from candidates who lie to them about their backgrounds.

The proposed law would require candidates who qualify for the ballot to submit a notarized form detailing their work and education histories to the Monroe County Board of Ethics.

“After George Santos, many of us wondered, ‘How could this happen?’ Voters need to find out if candidates are lying to them before they go to the polls, not after they’re already in office,” said Legislator Barnhart. “Candidates will think twice about embellishing their resumes or outright fibbing about their experience.”

In an age of declining news coverage of local political races, dark money spent on campaigns, and lack of fact-checking on social media, an additional layer of protection for voters is necessary. We should do what we can to prevent bad actors from getting elected in Monroe County.

This legislation as currently drafted would require candidates for Monroe County Executive and County Legislator who have qualified for the ballot to complete a Candidate Disclosure Form with the following information:

  • The legal or chosen name of the candidate 
  • The names of all post-secondary educational institutions
  • The names and addresses of all full-time employment from 10 years before candidacy
  • Dates of employment and titles held
  • Military service, along with highest rank held and type of discharge

“Monroe County’s elected officials should truthfully represent themselves in order to maintain the public’s trust,” said Legislator Barnhart. “These disclosure forms will aid voters and members of the press in vetting candidates.”

The disclosure forms would be publicly available and subject to legally-required redactions. Candidates would also be able to request redactions of information that poses a safety threat to themselves or their families. Candidates for office this year would have to comply prior to the November election.

The Legislature would vote on formally introducing the proposal in May and be slated to adopt the legislation in June. Similar legislation was recently passed in Westchester County.