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Vermont residents vote on pulling US troops out of Iraq
from AFP
Entered into the database on Wednesday, March 02nd, 2005 @ 20:50:52 MST


Untitled Document WASHINGTON (AFP) - Vermont voters went to the polls Tuesday to overwhelmingly support a referendum to bring US troops home from Iraq, according to preliminary returns.

The resolution urges President George W. Bush to bring US troops home from Iraq and also asks local lawmakers to review the Vermont National Guard's involvement in the war.

The state has the second-highest proportion of reservists involved in the war, after Hawaii.

Forty-two percent of Vermont's 1,200 National Guard troops have been deployed in Iraq, and 11 soldiers from the state with all of about 600,000 residents have died in the war.

"Vermont is a very small state, and people are really feeling the effect of this," said First Lieutenant Veronica Saffo, spokeswoman for the Vermont National Guard.

In a first for the United States, the popular referendum was held in 52 of Vermont's 246 municipal areas, and it was passed in 34 of those 52 areas, according to preliminary returns available early Wednesday.

Three cities postponed the vote, and three other cities rejected the resolution.

Traditionally a left-leaning enclave, Vermont has long been in the vanguard of opposition to the war. The state's former governor, Howard Dean, the new head of the Democratic Party, based his failed 2004 campaign for the White House on fierce opposition to the war in Iraq.