Where was Election filmed?
Anywhere America/Small town
We all know that girl from high school that was just a little bit too intense, too serious and intent on her goals. In Election, the lead character, Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) takes that trope to a whole new level, driving teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) crazy in the process.
Tracy’s dream is to be school class president. She has bigger dreams of being the President of the United States of America at some point, but this is a crucial first step on her journey to get there one day. She has a plan for everything. She has an answer for everything. Nothing seems to go wrong for her. Even after she has an affair with a teacher, Dave (Mark Harelik), who loses his job and wife, Tracy suffers no consequences. This irks Jim who was Dave’s best friend.
Since she was going to be running unopposed, Tracy was a shoo in for president. That is until Jim convinced a jock named Paul Metzler (Chris Klein) to run against her. His popularity concerns Tracy. Soon after, Paul's anarchic sister Tammy (Jessica Campbell) also decides to run. Suddenly, this is not the easy campaign that Tracy had envisioned. Planning and scheming were needed.
On the other side, Jim starts up an affair with Dave’s ex-wife Linda (Delaney Driscoll). Like everything in Jim’s life, it doesn’t end well with his wife finding out. After that, he counts the ballots and sees that Tracy has won by one vote so he gets rid of two of the votes. Shortly after, the missing votes are found and Jim is fired and kicked out of his house.
Again, despite Tracy’s scheming, manipulation and threats, she still came out unscathed. Jim moves to New York City for a new life, and Tracy continues her trajectory toward the White House.
Director and co-writer, Alexander Payne, chooses to film most of his movies in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. As he often writes about suburban life, it’s a fitting city that gives him all the variety and options that he needs.
With a lot of the scenes occurring within the fictional Carver High School, the Election production team used a real-life high school that they could dress and manipulate to suit the needs of the story.
Although the majority of the filming was shot and set in Omaha, Nebraska, there are a few scenes that were shot on location in New York City and Washington D.C. towards the end of the movie, showing the after-effects of Jim’s firing and Tracy’s legacy.
As many of the iconic Election scenes were shot in Omaha, if you’re a fan of the film, you can visit and check off many of the filming locations in one short visit. Want to find out which specific scenes were shot and how you can visit them? Read on and find out!
The interrogation scene in Election
Papillion-La Vista High School
Tensions are high in this particular Election scene. While trying to adjust one of her campaign posters, Tracy accidentally rips it in half. This gives her an idea and she destroys all her posters, making it look like an attack on her campaign.
She goes to see Jim about it the following day to talk about suspects and repercussions, but Jim isn’t buying any of it and presses Tracy to confess. She replies “If you want to keep questioning me like this, I won’t continue without my attorney present.” Smart.
With the entire film centering around Carver High School, this particular filming location gets used a lot. In reality, this school is Papillion-La Vista High School, which can be found at 402 East Centennial Road, Omaha, Nebraska. As it’s a functioning high school, you can’t exactly go and visit inside, but you can walk around the road outside and take in the fictional Carver High.
There is plenty of parking at the school and the number 93 bus route stops right outside the school gates.
The Washington scene in Election
Following all the chaos of the film, with Jim being exiled to New York and out of the teaching profession altogether, he reveals that he did see Tracy again.
Jim: “You might ask if I ever say Tracy Flick and I did, just once”
He moved to New York to work as a museum guide and went to Washington D.C. for a conference. There he saw Tracy with a Nebraska politician, appearing to be working for him. He stops in his tracks as he watches them disappear into a limo. He pauses before throwing a cup full of Pepsi at the back of the car. Mature, right?
The hotel that Tracy and the politician can be seen leaving is the Hay-Adams Hotel, located at 800 16th Street NW at H Street NW. Overlooking the historic Lafayette Square, this five-star hotel played host to politicians, celebrities, and dignitaries over the years and is a fitting location for this final Election scene.
You can obviously stay at the hotel if you have the money and the reservation way in advance. With it being in such a popular location in Washington D.CThere are a whole host of bus routes that stop right outside the hotel.
Tracy ups the ante scene in Election
After thinking that she was running unopposed for president, you can understand that Tracy might be a bit upset to see Paul Metzler’s table set up in the hallway, lobbying for votes. Concerned over his obvious popularity, she endeavors to work even harder to secure the position she believes is rightfully hers.
She goes home to make even more voter buttons, gradually stamping harder and harder as her voiceover says, “You see, I believe in the voters. They understand that elections aren’t just popularity contests”
I think you overestimate most voters.
Tracy’s house is used quite a lot throughout the film and can be found at 3539 Hascall St, Omaha, Nebraska. Located in the Hanscom Park area of Omaha, this is obviously a very residential area, so if you want to visit or walk by, please be respectful.
The nearest bus stop is a few blocks over and is served by the number 36 bus route. Of course, you can also just drive by if you’ve got access to a car.
The bee sting scene in Election
Parkwood Lane, Omaha
In what is one of the funniest scenes in the movie, we see Jim skulking around the back garden of his best friend’s ex-wife, Linda’s house. He’d previously had a tryst with her and wanted to see her again. They’d arranged to meet at a motel, but Jim thought the house would be better.
He’s calling her name but there’s no answer. Suddenly a bee lands on his eyelid. Jim swats at it and it stings him, swelling up his eye.
Jim: “Linda? Linda! Ow!.”
Just another example of Jim being down on his luck.
Linda’s house can be found at 683 Parkwood Lane, Omaha, Nebraska. Located in the Fairacres neighborhood of Omaha, near the University of Nebraska, Omaha campus, the nearest bus stop is next to the college, a few blocks away.
Here you’ll find bus stops for the 00 bus route as well as a couple of visitor parking lots. It’s also next to Memorial Park, so you can enjoy a calm and tranquil wander while checking out this Election filming location.
Jim wants to meet Linda at the motel scene in Election
After the unfortunate bee sting incident, Jim retreats away from Linda’s house. Instead, he goes to the motel room that they’d previously organized. He rings Linda, letting her know that he stopped by and that he’s at the motel ready for her.
Jim: “I came by and you weren’t there, so now I’m at the place we talked about, Suite 246”
He waits, icing his eye with the bottle of champagne that he bought for the occasion, but Linda never shows up. He leaves the motel, dejected.
This motel is actually still in operation as the Rodeway Inn and can be found at 1110 Fort Crook Rd S, Bellevue, Nebraska. It’s located in between a skate bar, a car rental place, and a sports bar, so if you’re looking for somewhere affordable in the area, while also checking off an Election filming location, this might be an option.
As it’s a little bit outside of the city, the nearest bus stop is quite a walk away, but there is plenty of parking at the Rodeway, and Enterprise Car Rental is just a couple of steps away. It’s just off the highway, so it’s pretty quick to get around the area, which is great if you’re short on time in Omaha.
Jim loses everything scene in Election
Cass Street, Omaha
Jim waits for a good long while at the motel before giving up and driving home to his wife. He grabs a beer from the fridge and suddenly hears a baby crying. That’s odd, they don’t have any children. Who’s kid is that and who else is here? Given he’s just been stood up and stung by a bee, Jim isn’t in the mood for entertaining.
He walks into the lounge and sees Linda, with her baby, talking to his wife Diane (Molly Hagen). She’s obviously been crying and Linda has told her everything. Jim doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Reading the situation immediately, Jim simply says “Okay” and heads outside to spend the night in his car. Things are just going from bad to worse for this guy, and it’s not going to stop there, you just wait for a couple more scenes.
Jim and Diane’s house can be found at 5011 Cass Street, Omaha, Nebraska. Located in the Underwood neighborhood of Omaha, it’s on the opposite side of Memorial Park to Linda’s house. So, if you’re wandering through the park, you may be able to tick off two Election filming locations, but it is a bit of a long walk - fair warning.
Again, it’s a residential area so if you are planning on visiting the area, it’s important to remember to be respectful. There is also not a lot of public transport so you’re going to have to drive there or take a pretty long walk. Of course, you can’t go inside the house, but you can walk or drive by and see the drive where Jim slept in his car before going out to destroy his career.
If you’re looking for a fun, witty and dry film about the plotting and scheming that goes on in High School, both by students and teachers, then this is a must watch movie. Election has a legion of fans to this day, and is easy to rewatch time and time again. With relatable characters who are full of flaws and make the wrong decision all the time, it’s easy to get lost in the world of Carver High.
With the majority of the filming locations being in Omaha, if you’re looking to make an Election-themed road trip, this is the place to visit. As the director’s home and the setting of the original novel, it’s only natural that the film was shot here. So, grab your presidential buttons, make a flawless Tracy Flick-esque plan of attack and get yourself out to Omaha!