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Amazon will let you donate to 2020 presidential candidates by talking to Alexa

Amazon will let you donate to 2020 presidential candidates by talking to Alexa
[Photo: Asivechowdhury/Wikimedia Commons; Markus.Volodymyr/Wikimedia Commons]

That Alexa speaker you got at your office holiday party two years ago is getting a new feature: 2020 U.S. presidential campaign donations.

Starting next month, Amazon says Alexa users can send as much as $200 by voice to U.S. presidential campaigns (which must opt into the program first) by saying, “Alexa, donate to [candidate name].” The feature may simply be an excuse for Amazon to talk about Amazon Pay, the payments service that powers the feature. But if you ever wanted to send a gag donation to a certain former Maryland congressperson using your friend’s credit card, you might soon get the chance.

According to Amazon, “2020 U.S. Presidential Candidates can sign up to receive campaign contributions via Alexa” starting September 19, and signing up “doesn’t require any technical experience.” If you’d like to prevent “unintended donations,” you can set up a 4-digit passcode—or turn off voice purchases altogether—by following these steps.

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