Amazon announces new 2020 donations feature

Starting next month, customers will be able to donate up to $200 to US presidential campaigns through Amazon’s Alexa.

Amazon announced the new elections feature Wednesday and said candidates can start signing up on Thursday to receive campaign contributions through the voice-controlled assistant.

“With Alexa Political Contributions you can donate to participating 2020 U.S. presidential campaigns by simply saying ‘Alexa, I want to make a political contribution’ or “Alexa, donate [amount] to [candidate name],” Amazon said in an announcement.

The minimum donation using Alexa is $5, while the maximum is $200 per campaign. Alexa can only donate to presidential campaigns that have signed up to accept donations from Alexa.

Alexa Political Contributions is powered by Amazon Pay, according to the company, and will use the default payment information associated with accounts to complete the campaign donations.

With the 2020 election just over a year away, Alexa is “ramping up her elections knowledge and experiences,” according to Amazon, which described Alexa as an objective source that can provide customers with information on polls, ballots and election results.

Amazon said new features will be added to Alexa over the course of the next year, and will “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,” according to the company.

“Alexa herself does not have opinions on politics or candidates,” Amazon said.

The company touted the information provided through Alexa to customers during the midterm elections last fall, including questions on when polls opened and who was winning certain races.