|The idea behind this campaign was a simple one. That, with hard work and positivity, a group of people can make a difference. During my term as your City Councilor, I want to focus on your hopes, and not your fears. I want to solve problems instead of creating friction. And I will work hard, every hour of every day, to make Pawnee a better place to live. Because I love this city. And I know, firsthand, how very special the people of this city are. I owe this victory, all of it, to my friends and my supporters. No one achieves anything alone. So let's embark on a new journey together. Let's break out a map. Not the old, out-of-date one that shows where we've been, but a crisp new one that shows where we might go. Let's embark on a new journey together. And see where it takes us.|
|— Leslie Knope|
It's election day in Pawnee, Leslie and Bobby Newport are neck-and-neck in the latest poll. The Election Monitoring chief meets with the candidates and campaign managers and goes over a few details: Pawnee law says that a tie vote between a man and a woman will result in the women being jailed, and Ben Wyatt successfully gets rigged election machines (sponsored by Sweetums, which offer a certificate for free candy to Newport voters, and ask Knope voters to first "take a second and think it over" and then show a crying child on the screen if the voters choose Knope a second time) removed from the precincts. Tom Haverford is organizing the results party because he had a dream that Ann Perkins will get back together with him if she enjoys the party. Bobby's campaign manager Jennifer Barkley, impressed with Leslie's campaign, offers Ben a job working for a congressional reelection campaign in Washington, D.C., but he will need to leave in two days and be there for six months. Ben brings it up with Leslie, who is upset by the news since Ben will move away just as their lives return to normal.
Chris Traeger has finally emerged from his depression after having sex numerous times with Jennifer, but he is oblivious that the sex is meaningless to her. At the results party, Jerry Gergich – who did not have time to vote – panics when the first few rounds of results give Bobby a slight lead, worrying that Leslie will lose by one vote. Leslie and Ben seek advice about Ben's job offer: Ann suggests Leslie asks Ben to stay, and Ron Swanson tells Ben to also remain, citing his own love for routine. Ben reminds him that if Leslie wins, Ron's routine will change since he will become Assistant City Manager. Leslie later asks Ben to stay and he agrees.
The final results are in and Bobby is declared the winner, but Ben correctly says that Bobby's 21-vote final margin of victory was low enough to trigger an automatic recount; Jennifer whines about wanting the election monitors to just call the race so she can leave Pawnee, and offers Leslie Joe Biden's home telephone number if she'll give up, but Ben stands his ground and the monitor leader immediately orders the recount to begin. Leslie goes missing but Ron finds her in the city council chambers, where she laments letting her friends down after they worked so hard for her. Ron tells her that he and the parks department joined her campaign because they care about her and her dream, not the reward of winning. Hearing this, Leslie tells Ben he should accept the job. The recount is in and Ann sadly tells Leslie the margin remained 21 votes...before she smiles broadly and says that the recount showed Leslie won by that amount, to Leslie's overwhelmed jubilation and Jerry's (and Bobby's) relief. Ben accepts Jennifer's offer and she leaves without saying goodbye to Chris. Ron turns down the Assistant City Manager position, content with his life; Jean-Ralphio Saperstein asks Chris for the job, but he is turned down immediately. Leslie thanks her friends and supporters with a heartfelt speech; she previously asked Ben about the concession speech that he wrote, but he reveals that he never wrote it. Later, a drunk Ann gets back together with Tom and even agrees to move in with him, fulfilling his dream.
In a B plot, April Ludgate asks for Andy Dwyer's help after she accidentally deletes all of the Parks Department's files. When their attempts to recover them fail, they jokingly plan to move away, change their identities, and get new careers, with all of Andy's careers revolving around law enforcement (like his often used alter ego, FBI agent Burt Macklin). The day is saved when Donna Meagle reveals that she has a back-up copy of the files because Jerry deletes files all the time. April later suggests that Andy actually join the Police Department, since all of his dream jobs had to do with law enforcement.
Andy: First of all, you did the right thing by hiding underneath this table.
Leslie: Your ambiguous ethnic blend perfectly represents the dream of the American melting pot.
Andy: I'll tell you what honey, here's the deal -- you get fired, I'll
quit too. I'm serious. We'll move to a new city, burn our fingertips
off with acid, swap faces...
Andy: If we have to.
Tom: Last night at approximately 2:30am, I woke up from a dream that felt so real it had to be a premonition. Me, Drake, and the T-Mobile girl were playing baccarat on a private jet. Ann Perkins walks up to me and says "Tommy, tomorrow night, I'm taking you back". Then Blue Ivy Carter high-fived me and gave me $40 million dollars. It was all so real.
Ron: Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets.
Ben: Why are you laughing?
Leslie: Because my dream is dead.
Ben: Where did you get a Washington Monument figurine at midnight on a Tuesday?
Leslie: From my office - I have like 50 of them.
Ben: Okay, I think Leslie should say something to the troops just to get everyone's spirits up. Where is she?
Ann: I don't know. She's not answering her phone. [everyone looks around]
Ben: Okay, so no one knows where she is. We could be getting the recount results any moment and we don't know where our candidate is! What the hell, Jerry?! [Jerry looks confused and hurt] Sorry, that was unfair. [shakes Jerry's hand for forgiveness] Thank you. Find her. [everyone disperses except Ron, who thinks he knows where she is]
Ann: The recount's over. They just called the race.
Leslie: [nervous] Oh, God. [she and Ben hold hands]
Ann: It's still 21 votes. [Leslie looks crestfallen, but accepting] ...But you won. [Leslie begins to smile] You won, Leslie. You won by 21 votes. It's confirmed. It's over. You've won.
Ben: Your victory speech, Councilwoman Knope.
Leslie: Someday, when I'm more emotionally stable, I want to read the concession speech you wrote for me.
Ben: I never wrote it.
Leslie: Guys, we're going to JJ's Diner for victory waffles, and then we're staying up all night talking about our lives and feelings. Non-negotiable. Let's go. City Council, bitches! [everyone cheers]
Ron: Jerry forgot to vote.
Leslie: Dammit, Jerry! [Jerry looks embarrassed]
Bobby: [of Leslie's Victory] Honestly, I've never been more relieved in my entire life.