My suggestion: Either move the upvote link or add a second link to the bottom of the page.
Something I noticed when scrolling through a nice longer episode is that I wanted to upvote it, but my eyes were led to the list of next episodes and links to add my own episode. If I weren't thinking so hard about wanting to show my appreciation of the episode, I would be inclined to just move on. I imagine most people would just move on, caught in the flow of the story. If you're looking for a reason why people aren't engaging so much with the upvote system, I suspect that's the main factor. Adding another upvote link next to "Add a new episode" would encourage more upvoting. (Note that Archive Of Our Own does something similar with their "kudos" button.)
Thanks for hearing me out.