13-10-601. Parties eligible for primary election -- petitions by minor parties. (1) Each political party that had a candidate for a statewide office in either of the last two general elections who received a total vote that was 5% or more of the total votes cast for the most recent successful candidate for governor shall nominate its candidates for public office, except for presidential electors, by a primary election as provided in this chapter.
(2) (a) A political party that does not qualify to hold a primary election under subsection (1) may qualify to nominate its candidates by primary election by presenting a petition, in a form prescribed by the secretary of state, requesting the primary election.
(b) The petition must be signed by a number of registered voters equal to 5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for governor at the last general election or 5,000 electors, whichever is less. The number must include the registered voters in more than one-third of the legislative districts equal to 5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for governor at the last general election in those districts or 150 electors in those districts, whichever is less.
(c) At least 1 week before the deadline provided in subsection (2)(d), the petition and the affidavits of circulation required by 13-27-302 must be presented to the election administrator of the county in which the signatures were gathered to be verified under the procedures provided in 13-27-303 through 13-27-306.
(d) The election administrator shall forward the verified petition to the secretary of state at least 85 days before the date of the primary.