BROWNING, Mont. (AP) — Native Americans account for 8 percent of Montana's residents and growing, but they have yet to realize their political clout.

After generations of tearing down the external barriers that barred their people from the ballot box, Native American activists are increasingly focusing inward to promote a culture of voting across tribal lands.

The Native vote could be especially crucial in what could be tight races in this year's election for governor and in Denise Juneau's bid to become the first Native American woman to win a seat in Congress.

Advocates are also hoping that 13 new satellite elections offices in Indian country have boosted the number of Native Americans registered to vote.