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New Jersey is the only state where elected county officials are called "Freeholders." Most other states elect a county commission or county council. The term "Freeholder" is a carryover from colonial days, when only property owners - then known as freeholders - were entitled to vote, and one freeholder represented each municipality. Eventually, the number of freeholders in each county was reduced by statute and is now determined by referendum, and cannot exceed nine members.

Text used with permission from Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholder's website: What is a Freeholder?

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