Voting in Pontotoc County has never been more important than in the past year.

The race last month between Darrell Nemecek and Todd Thomsen for State Representative proved that literally, every vote matters.

And who knows? The current issue over the introduction of the sales tax to fund the renovation of the Pontotoc County Courthouse and to build a new jail just may come down to a few votes.

Why is it important to vote?

Listed below is a brief history of voting ups and down in the United States, according to The City University of New York.

July 2, 1776: The New Jersey state constitution allows "all inhabitants...who are worth fifty pounds" to vote, including women and people of color. In 1807 the requirement is rewritten to specify only white men.

Jan. 1, 1790: Ten states have property requirements for voting (Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts and South Carolina)

Dec. 3, 1800: Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tie for president in the Electoral College. With no provisions existing for this situation, the House of Representatives votes for the president, electing Jefferson on February 17, 1801.

April 9, 1866: The Civil Rights Act of 1866 is passed, declaring that all persons born in the United States are now citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

October 23, 1915: Twenty-five thousand women march in New York City for the right to vote.

March 29, 1961: The Twenty-third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, granting Washington, D. C. residents the right to vote in U.S. Presidential elections for the first time.

Whether you're for or against the sales tax increase, the important thing to remember is to exercise your right to vote.

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