Vermont voters on Tuesday approved a ballot initiative that seeks to prevent F-35 fighter jets from being based at the Burlington International Airport, WCAX-TV reported.
Save Our Skies, a group who opposes the warplane’s base location, obtained 3,000 signatures to "get a nonbinding question" on the ballot, the station reported. The group spent an estimated $15,000 advocating for the ballot initiative, SevenDaysVT.com reported.
Supporters of the F-35s basing said the ballot question was "deceptive" and "caused confusion" at the polls, the station reported.
The ballot question reportedly asked whether voters "as part of our strong support for the men and women of the Vermont National Guard," would advise the council to request the cancellation of the F-35 basing and request planes with "low noise level equipment," SevenDaysVT.com reported.
"They knew that they could not get it across the goal line with just asking the voters to take away the F-35, because that is not what this community wants," Nicole Citro, a member of an F-35 advocacy group, told the channel.
The ballot vote might not have an impact. Local officials do not have a formal say in military decisions, SevenDaysVT.com reported. Even so, all three members of Vermont's congressional delegation supported the F-35s at the airport, the report said.
The Vermont National Guard issued a statement through 1st Lt. Mike Arcovitch, WCAX-TV reported.
"There is a lot of work to be done, and rest assured the Vermont Air National Guard will be ready when the F35 arrives in the fall of 2019," Arcovitch said. "We are proud to serve Vermonters and excited to receive the F35."