Linus van Pelt runs for the post of student body president with a vigorous and enthusiastic campaign which receives a setback when he spreads the message of the Great Pumpkin. He wins the election by one vote, 84 to 83, the deciding vote cast by Linus' opponent, Russell Anderson, who had come to feel that Linus was better for the job (The plot is taken from a story that ran in the comic strip in October 1964, in which Linus ran for school president with Charlie Brown as his running mate. That time, when Linus brought up the Great Pumpkin in a speech, he was laughed off the stage and had blown his chance for election). Following his victory, Linus goes to the principal with the intention of laying down the law, but leaves the principal's office taken aback with the realization that he is still strictly subordinate to the faculty.
In a side story, Snoopy makes his first appearance as his student alter ego, "Joe Cool". In this scene, he enters a classroom and acts flirtatiously before being kicked out of school.
On the original airing, this special was titled You're Elected, Charlie Brown, and the theme song is sung with these lyrics; but subsequently, it was realized that since Charlie Brown was not actually running for student president due to a red herring, the shorter title made little to no sense. The original theme song, however, remained.