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The 2020 U.S. presidential election is just over a year away, and ahead of it, Amazon’s rolling out a new feature — Alexa Political Contributions — that’ll enable Alexa customers to support their chosen candidates monetarily.

“As the … election nears, we’ll be building on last year’s election experience and adding even more ways for Alexa to provide the information that matters most to you this election cycle,” wrote Amazon in a blog post.

Beginning tomorrow, 2020 U.S. presidential candidates will be able to sign up to receive campaign contributions via Alexa. And starting next month, Alexa customers will be able to contribute from $5 to $200 to any participating candidate’s campaign by saying “Alexa, donate to [candidate name].”

Amazon says that Alexa Political Contributions is powered by Amazon Pay, which uses the payment information associated with customers’ Amazon accounts to complete transactions. As with any Amazon Pay purchase, campaign donations will be confirmed with an email receipt.


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In order to donate with Alexa, you’ll have to switch on voice purchasing in your Alexa voice purchasing settings and select a default payment method in your Amazon account 1-Click Preferences. (To prevent unauthorized donations, you can set up a 4-digit voice code using the Alexa app for Android and iOS.) Additionally, to comply with U.S. campaign contribution regulations, you’ll have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident (i.e., green card holder).

As for candidates, they’ll need to create an Amazon Payments Merchants account and add their campaign information on Amazon’s Seller Central website. They’re required to have a U.S.-based street address, a U.S.-based bank account, a credit card associated with a U.S. street address, and a U.S.-based phone number, in addition to a valid website with a privacy policy and filed FEC forms 1 (Statement of Organization) and 2 (Statement of Candidacy). And they must volunteer up to three preferred variations of their name or the name of their campaign committee, with phonetic spelling for common pronunciations.

“As with everything we do, we’ll learn a lot about the types of questions and information you want Alexa to be able to share, and release features that address those requests,” wrote Amazon. “Over the course of the next year, we’ll continue to add more features and experiences designed to give you easy access to the election information you care about most.”

Alexa Political Contributions follows on the heels of political engagement features that rolled out around the 2018 midterm elections, like poll time information and updates on gubernatorial, congressional, and Senate races tailored to location. Amazon also partnered with the Associated Press and Ballotpedia to inform users of candidates’ prospects and the number of Democratic and Republican seats up for grabs on Capital Hill.

As a refresher, here’s a sampling of the election-related commands Alexa recognizes:

  • “Alexa, who is running for president?”
  • “Alexa, how is [candidate name] polling?”
  • “Alexa, who endorses [candidate name]?”
  • “Alexa, when is the Iowa caucus?”
  • “Alexa, how does [candidate name] stand on Education?”
  • “Alexa, when is the next debate?”

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