Puerto Rico's governor and both legislative houses are popularly elected for four-year terms. There are 27 senators and 51 representatives. An elected resident commissioner serves a four-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives but cannot vote. On the local level, Puerto Rico is divided into municipalities, each with its own mayor and assembly. Puerto Ricans share all the rights and obligations of U.S. citizenship, including service in the armed forces; however, they do not pay federal taxes and cannot vote in national elections. The U.S. government handles Puerto Rico's foreign affairs, and U.S. military installations are maintained on the island.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.