Projections based on exit polls indicate that about 60 percent of Austrians voting in a referendum favor retaining an army made up mostly of conscripts instead of replacing it with a fully professional force.
The projections by the ARGE Wahlen polling group after voting ended Sunday afternoon have about 40 percent backing changing to an army of professionals.
ARGE Wahlen says close to 50 percent of Austrians cast ballots. The highest turnout was in mostly rural provinces and the lowest, at less than 40 percent, in Vienna.
Conscripts are often mobilized to help with natural catastrophes such as mud slides and floods, and fears in the countryside that such assistance would be lacking with a professional army appeared to have played a role in the results.