Judge throws out illegal voting charge against state Sen. Pete Lee

By: - October 21, 2022 1:33 pm
Pete Lee

Sen. Pete Lee, a Colorado Springs Democrat, speaks on the Senate floor May 5, 2022. (Faith Miller/Colorado Newsline)

A judge dismissed an indictment against state Sen. Pete Lee on Friday that alleged he illegally voted in a March 2020 election.

Judge Eric Bentley of the 4th Judicial District dismissed the case after deciding that false evidence unwittingly submitted to the grand jury by the El Paso County District Attorney played a large role in the decision to indict Lee.

“This has been a long time coming, and I certainly give credit to the judge who was very well prepared,” Lee told Colorado Newsline. “I was gratified, as a lawyer, to be in court with a judge who had clearly done his homework. Obviously, I think he correctly stated the law and applied the law to the facts and made the right conclusion to dismiss the charge.”


Lee, a Democrat from Colorado Springs, was indicted in August over allegations he voted from a house he did not actually live in. Lee represents Senate District 11, but prosecutors alleged he actually lived in a home in Senate District 12.

The evidence centered on a change of address form Lee filed with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, but he did not actually file that form until after the March 2020 election, despite the grand jury being told otherwise. Someone in the office gave the wrong year to the district attorney’s office, who then unwittingly presented the incorrect information to the grand jury.

Lee’s attorney, David Kaplan, immediately called for dismissal of the case when it was realized that the incorrect information was given to the grand jury.

“It has certainly raised my empathy for people involved in the criminal justice system. It really dominates your thoughts,” Lee said. “The wheels of justice grind slowly, but today they came to a good conclusion.”


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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado.