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Forget the 36,197 eligible registered voters in Madison County who didn’t bother to step up to the ballot booth in Tuesday’s primary.

This editorial is about the 8,224 who did.

They’re the ones who set the slate for the municipal general election on Nov. 5.

Active voters in Anderson stamped Democratic Mayor Tom Broderick’s ticket for November, but rejected an application for his old job from two-time former Mayor Kevin Smith. Instead, Republicans chose current Madison County Auditor Rick Gardner to represent their party in the mayoral campaign.

Gardner received 46% of the vote; Smith claimed 41%, and the third candidate, JoAnna Collette, garnered 13%.

Smith was elected mayor in 2003 and 2011 in six runs at the position. He and Collette were gracious Tuesday in defeat.

“I will support Rick in the fall,” Smith said. “The voters selected a different direction.”

In Alexandria, voters chose from two mayoral candidates in each party. Incumbent Mayor Ron Richardson opted not to seek another term, so a new mayor will run city hall come January.

Tom Naselroad and Penny Stevens will duel for that privilege. The former won the Republican nomination, and the latter was victorious on the Democratic side.

The November ballot for city council positions in Alexandria, Anderson and Elwood began to take shape Tuesday, as well.

Voters in Anderson opted for established council members in contested races, endorsing incumbents Jennifer Culp, Ty Bibbs, Rebecca Crumes, Ollie Dixon and Joe Newman. The one incumbent who lost, Greg Graham, was fell 17 votes short to former longtime councilman Rick Muir.

First-time Anderson council candidates such as Jeff Barranco, Norman Anderson, April Villegas, Stephon Blackwell, Ray Walker and Ben Orcutt, no doubt, were disappointed in defeat.

But they, like the voters who turned out Tuesday, played an active role in facilitating the process of democracy.

In short, they showed up in small numbers — but in a big way.