What Is A Freeholder?

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Freeholders: It's a New Jersey thing

While every county in the country has a legislative branch of elected officials who overlook the operations of the county budgets such as parks, jails, roads, social services and more, they're usually called county commissioners or executives. The term "freeholder" is unique to the Garden State, and dates back to the state's first constitution, written in 1776, that declared a county representative must be worth "fifty pounds proclamation money, clear estate in the same and have resided in the county in which they claim a vote for twelve months immediately preceding the election." Clear estate means owning a property outright, and is also called a "freehold," so only those who owned land could vote or be elected to office. -By Michelle Caffrey | For NJ.com


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