Just click vote without doing the captcha. That's what I do and what everyone else does. I hate that captcha also.
It's funny that a GM says this because if they don't do the CAPTCHA the vote doesn't actually count for EPW, therefore not benefiting the server at all.(Lol who cares that's what everyone does because the CAPTCHA is dumb as f)
That's what I've done for a while now and I've always gotten the gold. Try clearing your cache/cookies and/or use a different browser. Then see if you get gold the next time you can vote. No one else is voting from your IP right?