The EMRI is a qualitative tool of analysis that relies heavily on observation, content analysis and expert interviews. Data collected through these methods are triangulated to reflect how they result in election manipulation. Following the aggregation of data, the EMRI highlights the states according to the risk of election manipulation, using a ranking system based on the prevalence of the election manipulation indicators. The risk indicator ranking is divided into three categories: High Risk, Medium Risk, and Low Risk. The analysis is limited to key aspects of the electoral process that relate to election management. To avoid duplication, election security is not included in the EMRI due to the existence of diverse assessments and monitoring tools on election security.
The bulk of evidence for EMRI came from INEC reports, statements and publications; pre- and post-election observation reports from credible domestic and international observers; and reports from trusted and unbiased media organizations. The EMRI is based on six variables namely: (1) INEC capture; (2) tampering of the voter registration (3) voter suppression; (4) resistance to the election technology, especially BVAS and IReV; (5) history of election fraud, and (6) election litigation. Several empirical indicators are then identified for each of the variables of election manipulation. These indicators form the basis of the Election Manipulation Risk index (EMRI) and they will be carefully tracked.