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"Election Day" is the nineteenth episode from Season 3 of Modern Family, it aired on April 11, 2012.

Plot Summary

The all important election day has arrived and the whole family rallies for some last minute campaigning - Mitchell and Cam ride around in a 'Vote for Claire' mobile, the Dunphy house is campaign central with everyone manning phones and soliciting votes, and Claire does some last minute interviews -- with a few technical difficulties.

Episode Description

It's Election Day for Claire for the town council. Everybody is pulling out all the stops. Phil is even videotaping the entire day, because he knew twenty years ago when Claire was a young, budding...never mind. Mitchell and Cameron are going all out for Claire; they even put placards and a giant speaker on their car and are driving around the neighborhood. Although their catchphrases need some work, like "we're here, we're Claire, get used to it!", it works really well in shaming a litterbug into picking up his trash or a "dragon tattoo" girl to not jaywalk. Speaking of Jay, he's proud to bring Gloria and Manny down to vote, only he turns around right away. Still, that beats the reporter who asked Claire whom she was voting for in the election. And suddenly she's lacking a bit of confidence.

PHIL: No, she feels great. Her spirits are high. The whole family is high. There's your headline.

Still, she was happy to take a photo with the family just as soon as she removed the tag from her new suit...only she slips and knocks her fake tooth out from an old ice skating accident. And now she looks like she just got a ten-minute major from the referee.

It turns out, the reason Jay didn't vote is that a woman was working there whom he dated right after his divorce, someone named Dottie. (GLORIA: You dated a Dottie right after a DeDe?) Actually, the worst part was Jay dated Dottie like he was a twenty something. That is, dated her until they slept together and never saw her again. Gloria was furious that Jay didn't want to support his daughter over something like this...and really didn't want to see Claire become unraveled, since she's so high-strung already.

Meanwhile, Cam and Mitch have let the speaker on their car go to their head, commenting wherever and whenever they felt like it. They had quite a few axes to grind and a hybrid car while Phil tried to bring a group of senior citizens to the polls beginning with their neighbor, Walt. That went over well, particularly when Walt's oxygen ran out and Phil wouldn't take him, as did Mitch and Cam accidentally revealing to Lily's school teacher that her fiance was really gay.

Alex was put in charge of the phone bank for Claire, mainly by default, since Luke was promising voters they'd never have to pay taxes again, Gloria was getting into arguments, and Haley is...well, Haley. Gloria couldn't figure out why people kept saying no to her when they typically would do whatever she asked.

ALEX: That's because you're on the phone and people can't see you.

GLORIA: Then can't you hook me up to some kind of camera?

Actually, that won't work for Claire, who got her tooth fixed and went for a radio interview, only the engineer accidentally smacked her with the microphone, and she gave the interview with a lisp.

Jay sneaks back to the precinct when Dottie goes to the bathroom, grabbing the ballot and jumping the line. It still doesn't work, as Dottie spots him. She claimed it was water under the bridge but still wouldn't put Jay's ballot in the voting box. Fortunately, the damage control works better for Mitch and Cam ("we did more for Hugh Jackman's career than Claire's"), and Phil does eventually get Walt to vote for Claire. The other 49 seniors he tried to get didn't bother.

At home, Claire thanked everybody for their help, even though nobody provided much of it, and they waited for the results. They even had a banner prepared for both possibilities. Unfortunately, "Condolences, Claire" would be the one needed. Claire goes to get some wine and Haley goes to talk to her. Claire thought she let everybody down, except Haley breaks down in tears. Claire holds her, but Haley was crying from not telling them she had been rejected from four different colleges (they may have overshot on her going to Northwestern). The last envelope arrived, and Haley felt what her mother was feeling. Haley opens the envelope, and they put her on the wait list.

HALEY: (excited) Oh, my God! I got wait-listed!

CLAIRE: (pause) We will take it!

PHIL: (proud) Our daughter might be going to college!

On the bright side, at least Claire got the stop sign she wanted in the first place, a little consolation prize from Councilman Duane Bailey.

Main Cast

(The characters striked out do not appear in this episode)

  • Jay Pritchett
  • Gloria Pritchett
  • Manny Delgado
  • Claire Dunphy
  • Phil Dunphy
  • Haley Dunphy
  • Alex Dunphy
  • Luke Dunphy
  • Mitchell Pritchett
  • Cameron Tucker
  • Lily Tucker-Pritchett

Guest Starring


  • Lily does not appear in this episode.
  • This marks Walt Kleezak's final episode before his death in the next episode.


Cultural References

  • The bullhorn plays "La Cucaracha".
  • "I can see Clairely now that Duane is gone," is a reference to the song "I Can See Clearly Now".
  • Gloria calls Jay ardilla, Spanish for squirrel.
  • Mitch and Cam mention Hugh Jackman as an example of a man who they wish was gay.


  • It was heavily implied that Dottie didn't put Jay's ballot in the box, however that is electoral fraud and she would be prosecuted.