People can stop harrassing me about the CAPTCHA feature on the Million Writers Award voting page. While most people were able to vote for their favorite stories – we've already received several hundred votes – a sizable minority was unable to successfully complete the CAPTCHA challenge. As a result I've now removed the CAPTCHA altogether.
The voting system will still require people to submit their name and email address, and if an invalid email address is provided those votes will be discarded. I'll be releasing the first week vote totals tomorrow, so check back then for more information on how your favorite stories are doing.
On a related point, this isn't the first time that I've noticed the CAPTCHA systems online becoming so difficult to pass that they are ensnaring a lot of legitimate users (while spammers can now easily overcome this defensive technique). It's obvious the days of using CAPTCHA to battle spam are numbered.