Knowing the name of my representative (Mike Honda btw) is not going to increase my political influence. I’d have to be chummy with him before he gave any serious weight to my opinion. All the congressman’s question revealed was whether the people in his audience gave any thought to politics, not whether they could be effective politically if they tried.
As for voting, I see it as a waste of time to study issues which I have only a tiny probability of affecting. The best strategy I can see in this situation is to ask your most intelligent and unbiased friend how they’re voting and then vote in advance to avoid standing in line. (To make this strategy work on a large scale, I should also spend time studying issues if all my friends say I’m their smartest and least biased friend. In this case my vote has a significantly higher probability of affecting the election, making my study worthwhile.)