Returning officers are currently required to check personal identifiers on at least 20 per cent. of returned postal votes at elections though they have discretion to check a higher proportion, or all, of the returned postal votes. The Government have indicated in their response to the Electoral Commission's evaluation report ‘The introduction of absent voting personal identifiers in England and Wales’(www.justice.gov.uk/publications/absent-voting-identifiers.htm) that they agree with the Commission that no changes to the legislation for the checking of identifiers at elections should be contemplated for implementation in England and Wales prior to 31 May 2008. It is therefore not planned to mandate 100 per cent. checking of returned postal votes at the elections scheduled for May 2008. The Government are committed to the principle that 100 per cent. of returned postal votes should be checked, and work with the Electoral Commission, electoral administrators and software suppliers in order to establish when it will be appropriate and safe to mandate 100 per cent. checking of returned postal votes.