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