Election is a 1999 American black comedy film directed by Alexander Payne from a screenplay by Payne and Jim Taylor, based on Tom Perrotta's 1998 novel of the same name. The plot revolves around a student body election and satirizes politics and high school life. The film stars Matthew Broderick as Jim McAllister, a popular high school social studies teacher, and Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick, an overachieving student whom he dislikes. When Tracy runs for student government president, Jim sabotages her candidacy by backing a rival candidate and tampering with the ballot count. Although a box office bomb, Election received critical acclaim. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, a Golden Globe nomination for Witherspoon for Best Actress, and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Film in 1999.


Jim McAllister is a beloved civics teacher at an Omaha, Nebraska, high school. One of his students, Tracy Flick, is an overachieving senior whom he resents. Dave Novotny, Jim's best friend and fellow teacher, lost his job and his wife after Tracy's mother discovered that her daughter was having a sexual relationship with him. While Jim thinks Dave deserved punishment for having sex with a minor, he is bitter that Tracy's mother intervened to protect Tracy from further harm.