2023 Barangay, SK polls: Step-by-step guide to voting, do’s and don’ts




MANILA, Philippines—In over a week, millions of Filipinos will again exercise their right to vote and choose leaders that will lead their communities in the long-delayed Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections.

On October 30, over 93 million registered voters will cast votes for the barangay and SK polls, a crucial event that will determine the future of local communities across the country.

The village and youth elections, as mandated by law, are supposed to take place every three years, but delays and postponements have resulted in officials holding office for up to five years.

The last barangay and SK elections took place in May 2018. The next election was supposedly set for May 2020 but was moved to December 2022 after then-President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) No. 11462.

Last year, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed into law RA No. 11935, rescheduling the barangay and SK elections from December 2022 to the last Monday of October 2023.

As the election date draws closer, INQUIRER.net will provide a detailed list of voting reminders, a step-by-step guide to voting, and some do’s and don’ts to help voters make informed decisions.

Reminders for voters

According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), 67,839,776 registered voters who are at least 18 years old may vote in the barangay elections. There are also 23,254,313 registered voters who may vote in the SK elections as they are around 15 to 30 years old.


GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan


The country has 42,027 barangays in 148 cities and 1,486 municipalities. For the barangay elections, voters may vote for:

  • One (1) Punong Barangay / Barangay Captain
  • Seven (7) Members of Sangguniang Barangay (SB)

Meanwhile, for SK Elections, voters may vote for:

  • One (1) SK Chairperson
  • Seven (7) Members of SK



GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan


The voting hours will start at 7:00 AM and will last until 3:00 PM. Those who will vote at the Emergency Accessible Polling Place (EAPP)— such as persons with disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens, and pregnant women— will be given six hours to cast their votes from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM.


GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan


Comelec is targeting a voter turnout of at least 75 percent this year, higher than the 71.2 percent — or 40.89 million registered voters who cast their votes — recorded in 2018.

October 30 was declared a special non-working day as the country holds the grassroots elections.

Step-by-step guide on voting




GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan


According to Comelec guidelines, the step-by-step voting process for the Barangay and SK polls is as follows:

Step 1: At the polling place, find your precinct number and sequence number on the posted voters list. Approach the Electoral Board and state your name and precinct and sequence number.

Step 2: Get your ballot from the EB. Make sure that you have the right ballot:

  • for voters aged 15-17 years old: 1 SK ballot
  • for voters aged 18-30 years old: 1 SK ballot and 1 Barangay ballot
  • for voters aged 31 years old and above: Barangay ballot

Step 3: Sign the Election Day Computerized Voters List (EDCVL).

Step 4: Fill up the ballot by writing in the corresponding spaces the names of individual candidates you’ve chosen. Use the ballot secrecy folder to prevent other people from seeing your ballot.

Step 5: After filling up the ballot, fold it in the same manner as it was received and return it to the EB. DO NOT remove the detachable coupon.

Step 6: Place thumbmark on the corresponding space at the ballot coupon.

Step 7: Have your right forefinger nail stained with indelible ink.

Step 8: Observe as the EB removes the ballot coupon. The EB will deposit the ballot and the detached coupon in the corresponding compartments of the ballot box.

Do’s and Don’ts


GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan


For the midterm election, the poll body reminded the public of some election do’s and don’ts to prevent any issues or errors during the voting process. Among these were:


  • Know your precinct number and voting center
  • Make a list or “kodigo” of candidates you will vote for to avoid erasures.
  • Dispose of your “kodigo” properly after voting.
  • Use a ballot secrecy folder when voting
  • Make sure to clearly write the candidate’s name as it appears on the official list.
  • After voting, fold the ballot as you received it and return it to the Electoral Board.


  • Do not take pictures of your accomplished ballot.
  • Do not show the contents of the accomplished ballot to anyone except to an assistor.
  • Do not erase any imprint on the ballot.
  • Do not draw or make any unnecessary marks on the ballot.
  • Do not tear away or destroy ballot.
  • Do not remove the detachable ballot coupon or stub.


Comelec also warned against vote buying and vote selling.

At a press briefing last June, Comelec chairperson George Garcia said the poll body is “serious” in its efforts to “minimize” vote-buying incidents, and public funds must be spared for these purposes.

“We already proved that the Comelec is serious on the issue of vote-buying. A governor, a mayor got disqualified from the recent elections because of vote-buying),” Garcia added.

As of October 13, Comelec had already filed petitions for disqualification against 125 candidates for alleged premature campaigning, 49 of whom have already been summoned by the poll body.Lastly, the public must always make sure to vote wisely.